The Lady Owls ended last season in the mud. Heavy rainfall caused the umpires to call the third game in the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament early, not allowing Keene State College’s softball team the chance to finish their season in the full nine innings.

This year, KSC’s softball team is ranked in the top three in the pre-season polls just below their rivals Eastern Connecticut and Western Connecticut. This year the Lady Owls said they are confident they can claim the number-two spot, and possibly first.

“We have always been on an equal playing field with Eastern [Connecticut] except for when it came to pitching. Two years ago they graduated their best pitcher, and now I think we are even in all aspects and we just have to go into the game with the mindset that we are as good as them,” KSC junior Sara Bracken said.

“We have better pitching now.  Mariah Crisp had an incredible season last year, and we need someone who can lead on defense,” junior Rachel Boynton said.

Hitting has been a strong aspect for the team, which is working more and more on improving defense each year.

File Photo / Chris Palermo: KSC will rely on senior Molly Dussault’s glove in the middle of the infield this year after she posted a .989 fielding percentage in 2013.

File Photo / Chris Palermo:
KSC will rely on senior Molly Dussault’s glove in the middle of the infield this year after she posted a .989 fielding percentage in 2013.

The first game of the season will take place  in Clermont, Florida, on March 16  during spring break. The team will continue to play 11 other games in the sunshine state.

“I’m not sure about what the starting team should be yet. There’s this statement that says, ‘I don’t have starters, I have finishers,’ and that’s where I’m at. I have to let these girls establish themselves,” Professor Emeritus and Head Coach Charles Beach said on his hopes for the spring break trip.

Part of letting the players establish themselves comes from daily inspiration from their coach. “He [Beach]  knows we have the talent to produce,” Bracken said. Not only did Beach say he believes in his team’s athletic ability, but he said he believes that just as much of the game that’s played with the body is played between the ears.

“I stole a page out of the men’s basketball workbook and I sent an email to my players at the start of the season and it said, ‘I want you to state what we stand for and state what you value,’” Beach said.

From there, the players’ responses and a few of the coaches were thrown together to create a wordle. This collage of words would now grace the backs of these players every time they wear their team shirts. Most of the sayings mean nothing to people outside the team. Yet, out of the few Beach was willing to share, he explained the most important one—the team’s motto. “L’audace; it means audacity, with audacity everyday, never give up, never lighten up, right in your face, aggressive. That’s what L’audace means, “ Beach said.

Two years ago, the Owls graduated eight seniors. Once they left, “people thought that was it,” said Boynton of the team’s success.

When the team returns from Florida, they will be entering conference play.  Who better to start the season off with but rival Eastern Connecticut?

“We have to show the other teams that we came to play this season,” Kaitlyn Newell, junior, said.  With five freshmen, seven sophomores, four juniors and two seniors, the team is on the younger side, yet the age closeness is actually what’s bringing the team closer than years before, according to Boynton.

“I think we have one of the best relationships than other teams on campus. We hang out outside of practice  and I think that the outside of practice stuff really does make a difference on the field. We do a lot of team dinners and most of us live together, so just hanging out doing homework makes you closer with your teammates,” Boynton said. The upperclassmen said they make it a point to make sure all the younger players feel they have a part on the team and need to work hard to keep that position.

Beach said players to look out for this season are Mariah Crisp, Anna Glassman, Sara Bracken and Stephanie Long.

Anna Glassman is the Ads Director for The Equinox.


Kendall Pope can be contacted at

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