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Softball Prepares for Final Stretch in First Place

By Andrew Smith

After winning 47 games last season, Adelphi softball began its 2024 with setbacks and disappointments. The Panthers lost 15 out of its first 24 games, which put the team in a difficult spot in the standings early on. However, since its slow start, the Panthers have climbed back into first place in the NE10 standings and are ready for the final stretch ahead.

Redshirt junior Courtney Wengryn reflected on the disappointing start and how it affected the overall morale in the locker room. “It is no secret that, obviously, we didn't start the season the way we expected or hoped to start it,” she said. “Coming off of two big trips to California and Florida, we were ready to come back to our region and compete in some good games. As we dropped both to Wilmington and followed that up by dropping another two to Franklin Pierce, we had to learn to do something different.”

Wengryn, an outfielder, has currently tallied 31 hits, the most on the team, and 18 RBI, the second most on the team.

Senior Lindsey Hibbs has tallied 162 strikeouts through 147 ⅔ innings this season Photo by AU Athletics

Senior Lindsey Hibbs spoke about the turnaround and how the team changed their mindset. “After those games, we sat down as a team and discussed what we all needed to work on as a collective to be better for one another. As individual as the sport of softball is, at the end of the day, we are a team and need to find a way to come together and rise above. After that discussion, it sparked something in all of us to not only play for the program but for each other.”

Hibbs was named NE10 Pitcher of the Year last season and continues her dominance on the bump. She has pitched 147 ⅔ innings with a 1.28 ERA and 162 punchouts.

Since then, the Panthers have won 17 out of their last 18 and sit at the top of the conference with their eyes set on another deep postseason run.

Senior backstop Alexandra Sacripante, who has totaled 22 total bases, said, “We had a tough start to our year, but we fought back to be where we are today.”

Sophomore Jordyn Pasqueralli, who has shown an incredible eye at the plate, striking out only nine times in 118 at-bats, said, “Continuing the win streak definitely helps build confidence, especially after the rough start.” 

Courtney Wengryn has excelled in situational hitting this season with 18 RBI Photo by AU Athletics

Wengryn discussed the importance of momentum and how it can significantly affect morale. “Momentum plays a huge role throughout the season. We want to be consistent and confident going into games. It is hard to have momentum when you can't seem to find a groove. Of course, we take everything one game at a time, but it definitely helps us keep it in the back of our minds that we have a good flow going.”

Senior Kendall Winn emphasized the importance of making consistent contact with the ball and how it has translated to offensive production. “Recently we have been focusing on our hitting the most, and it has certainly paid off as our run production has increased by a lot. However, as we face better teams in the postseason, I think our defense is going to be what wins us games.”

Winn, a utility infielder, has tallied 10 RBI, one home run and a cumulative .381 SLG (slugging percentage) this season.

As the Panthers approach their final games of the regular season, their primary goal of a deep playoff run remains their crucial focus. Hibbs said, “Maintaining tunnel vision and supporting each other is what's going to propel us through the rest of the season. I believe just continuing to keep our energies high and communicating no matter what, if we fine-tune that, will be unstoppable.”

Wengryn added, “We do not want to become too cocky and just think everything is going to come to us. We need to stay level-headed and keep grinding like we always do.”

Winn expressed the importance of playing for each other and focusing on one game at a time.

Lastly, many graduating seniors reflected on their time on the softball team and how important this stretch run will be for them.

Hibbs said, “With this being my last year, I want to make the most of every second I have left on the field, especially with the people who are on it with me. I'm so lucky to play for Adelphi softball, and I am so thankful for the program because it has brought me some of my best friends.”

“In my most successful year at Adelphi, we focused on one game at a time and trying to secure another day of softball for our graduating seniors. I am confident our first-year students will do that for us, too,” said Winn.

Wengryn said, “I am also so excited for the postseason because everything is up for grabs, and I hope we can continue the success we have had for the past few years.”

Come out and support the Panthers, also known as the “Cardiac Cats,” as they prepare to make another bid for the national championship. 

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