Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer
With the spring season nearing its end, the Saint Martin’s softball team sees themselves on the outside looking in. The Saints, having a 20-23 overall record and a 10-14 conference record, will not qualify for the GNAC Championship.
The story of the Saints season was their attitude of never giving up. An article by SMU Athletics stated, “No matter the score entering the seventh inning, Saints Softball is never out of the game. SMU mounted another impressive comeback, scoring six runs in the final frame to erase a 4-0 deficit and salvage a split with Northwest Nazarene 3-1 and 6-4.” The team mounted a comeback led by freshman Kylee Vanderbout, whose future here at Saint Martin’s looks very promising. Vanderbout brought in the winning run with her second double of the game, and she looks to become the next great hitter in the lineup. She is hitting .260, but her late game heroics seem to have helped her become a cornerstone of this team.
Lauren Diuco, whose contribution is unmatched at her time at Saint Martin’s, reached the plateau of the 200 hit mark this season, and is only the eighth Saint to ever reach that mark. Following the completion of this season, she will also be the Saints’ all-time leader in stolen bases with 54 and counting. The senior also is a former three-time All-GNAC player who looks to make it four in a row. She has been the spark and leader the Saints needed this season with a team leading batting average of .370.
Sabrina Hicks is another senior who has enjoyed a stellar career with the Saints as well. The senior leads the team in every major hitting category: RBIs, home runs, and hits. Although she is not the contact hitter that Diuco is, Hicks provides the pop in the middle of the Saints order that is much needed to bring in hitters like Diuco.
With a good mixture of old and new faces comes the story of the transfer pitcher Brandi Schoessler. She leads the Saints’ pitchers in almost every major category as well. She has a team high 15 total wins, with eight of those being complete games. Lauren Maley and Jessica O’Toole have helped the Saints in the pitching circle, with five combined wins.
While the season may not have gone as planned for the Saints, the future for this team looks promising to say the least. Vanderbout is a freshman, as well as teammate Trinity Favela. Along with the return of incoming senior Nicki Dehan and incoming junior Devyn Connolly, the Saints look to be in contention of the NCAA playoffs next year. Dehan is fifth on the team with a .312 slugging percentage. Meanwhile, Connolly is the team leader in doubles with 11. Although they lose the production of names like Hicks and Maley, the Saints will still be able maintain a strong core of players for years to come.