With an unexpected start to the season, the Blue Demons softball team quickly turned their disappointing start into a quick, but not so easy 6-0 start in the Big East Conference.
Improving their offense and defense in conference games, the defending Big East conference champions leads the conference in hits. Although the team’s pitching has been more up than down, head coach Eugene Lenti feels that the girls can keep the fire going during their upcoming conference games with a little improvement in their performance.
“We’ve been hitting a lot of home runs, scoring a lot of runs. Our defense has been a lot better than what it was in non-conference plays,” Lenti said.
Since offense is one of the team’s biggest strengths, Lenti believes that the girls can keep up their undefeated streak in the conference so long as they remain strong and remember both defense and offense.
“As long as the pitching stays strong and we hit the way we do and keep defending we should be able to keep it going this way,” he said.
The team is not too much different from last year, instead of working and trying to build chemistry between a team of 10 girls, the challenge is to build a strong bond between almost 20 girls this season. With everyone bringing different strengths and talents to the field the team is almost certain that they can prove that they’re better than what their non-conference record shows.
Returning Big East Player of the Year, senior leader, pitcher and hitter Mary Connolly believes that together they can humbly, but confidently, show that they can perform at a high level when it matters.
The team’s formula for success hasn’t changed since the start of the year as they start to play at home: quality pitching, timely hitting and solid defense is the mind frame they want to use to win games.
“Our mindset when playing home is to defend this field,” Connolly said. Although the team lost their first home game to North Dakota, they quickly turned that lost around when they won their first conference game at home against St. John’s.
“We love to put on a show during home games for our supporters,” Connolly said. “Support is big to us and we want to show them that we can represent DePaul Blue Demons’ softball program.”
Connolly, being one of the best pitchers and hitters on the team, said she wants to improve her performance as a player. She feels that being a pitcher is a leader in itself. She tries not to say or do too much with her leadership because she understands that if she plays well it will reflect in the rest of the team.
Although the defense has always been the strongest component of the team Connolly knows that her team will have her back no matter how she performs. “I think it is very awesome to have a great defense behind me, it boosts my confidence and energy,” said Connolly.
Over the next few games until the end of the season the team would like to keep a competitive spirit and always be hungry for victories. They understand that they have to win big in April so that they can get to where they need to be in May.
Wishing that they had more home games in their schedule, the team doesn’t seem to be too worried about their upcoming schedule or the teams their up against. Coach Lenti would like to use their non-conference games as preparation for their conference games.