Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer
With a few shouts and balls hitting bats, the fall offseason for the Saint Martin’s softball team is in full swing. Players are training hard to get back into mid-season form. With great hopes of the future, the Saints look poised to make a statement this upcoming 2019 season.
With the 2018 season being the first under Head Coach Jim Peterson, the Saints squeaked by with a winning season, finishing at 23-22. Devyn Conolly, a sophomore catcher for the Saints, states that “Getting a new coach last year was a great change for this team. He brought in an abundance of knowledge and new techniques with regards to how the game is played that no one on last year’s team has done before. It took a long time for our team to get those changes down. The returners this year implement our coach’s style much more, and has been easier guiding our new players to SMU softballs unique playing style.” With a bright future ahead of the team and new coach, the Saints fans should be excited for what is up and coming.
The Saints will also have a huge role to fill after losing senior Lindsey Miller to graduation this past year. She finished fifth all-time in hits with 222, and broke the single-season stolen base record with 19. The list of awards presented to Miller include GNAC first team All-Conference, GNAC All-Academic team, Google Cloud Academic All-District Team, and Tournament of Champions All-Tournament team according to SMU Athletics. When one door closes, there is always another that opens and the leadership of All-Conference players Lauren Diuco and Lauren Maley will have to be on display this season. Diuco, who is playing her last season as a Saint, is a three-time All-Conference player.
In the off-season, the Saints recruited five incoming true freshman and two junior college transfers. With 13 returning players, the Saints are poised for a breakout season. Conolly states that “I anticipate this season going very well. The bond that this year’s team has is definitely something special…our team has absolutely improved since last year, the new girls that have been brought in have been exactly what our team last year was lacking.” Conolly comes off of a year in which she saw action 40 times, and starting 30 of those games. Their skill was on display after punishing Pierce College, 25-0 and 14-0. Just as any other athlete would want, Conolly is always looking for ways to improve her game. “Some personal goals I have for this year would be hitting above 300, increase my pop time, but most importantly show everyone on my team that I will have their backs no matter what.” It’s the team attitude that Conolly thinks will take this team far.
Conolly, along with her fellow teammates, is anxious to get back to the diamond to showcase the progress they have made in the off-season. “Taking these one step at a time will for sure be a great way to show everyone what we’ve been doing this off-season.” The Saints will go on the road for their first series to compete in the Desert Stinger Tournament in Las Vegas. The squad’s first home game will be on March 8, 2019, and the team would appreciate the love and support from Saints fans.