The bats are hot for softball freshmen finding success in first season


One of the biggest challenges with college teams is the revolving door of players that graduate or move on from the program. That makes it more important when the young players on the team find early success in their careers. DePaul freshman softball players Baylee Cosgrove and Carly Alvers have found that success.

In their first season as Blue Demons, both Cosgrove and Alvers had an immediate impact this spring. In the past month, Cosgrove and Alvers have come off the bench for the Blue Demons and have left their mark on the field and the scoresheet with dominant offense.

From Loda, Illinois, Cosgrove broke out against Villanova in the first weekend of April, where she had three hits that scored five runs, including a home run in the first two games of the series. She has 16 hits and 17 runs batted in this season, as well as four home runs.

“I’m from a really small town so visiting here was really cool trying to get something different than what I usually live in,” Cosgrove said. “Then, when I came on at camp here, all the girls just seemed so fun, and everyone was really welcoming so that was my biggest thing.”

In the Blue Demons’ sweep over Georgetown on April 23-24, Cosgrove had four hits, with three of those hits coming from all three times up to bat in game one. She recently had a grand slam against Creighton on Sunday to push the Blue Demons to a 9-3 victory and a series win.

“I think I kind of started off rough and had a bunch of ups and downs,” Cosgrove said.  “But having some great leaders and getting us through that and seeing where we both come is really cool to me for my first season.”

The team is full of experienced players. Out of all the DePaul teams, softball has the most graduate students and seniors, which helps the younger members get more knowledge and experience by playing with them. And both Cosgrove and Alvers picked that up while also providing depth as new players.

“I think they’re doing a great job,” head coach Tracie Adix-Zins said. “I think the joy is they’re freshmen. One, when you’re freshmen, nobody knows you, nobody has information on you, and even though we have a lot of video scouting, they’re still kind of protected a little bit and they’ve taken advantage of a lot of the opportunities that they’ve been given.”

Young players not only bring new faces and experience to teams, but they can also be a bright spot for teams down the stretch as seasons begin to end and players get ready to graduate. This season, Cosgrove and Alvers have had the chance to learn from the older members, but also leave their own marks on the team in their first years.

“We’ve played in some really cool places for preseason, we’ve played all around the country, so those were some really great experiences,” Alvers said. “And to watch the older girls, like the seniors, watching them succeed has really been a good feeling and cool to see.”

DePaul began recruiting Alvers when she was a junior in high school, and while her career at DePaul began slowly, she has made a large impact for the Blue Demons during the past few weeks.

The Mokena, Illinois native made her debut on Feb. 19 against Oregon State and began getting more and more at bats, including a game against UIC on April 6 where she had two hits. Against Northern Illinois on April 20, Alvers had three hits in four at bats that scored three runs.

“At first, I wasn’t really playing a lot,” Alvers said. “But, when I did get the opportunity, I really succeeded and really helped the team and showed my abilities and what I can do, so I’m just trying to keep going and keep up the hard work.”

Alvers was named the Big East Freshman of the Week on April 25 after a dominant weekend against Georgetown. In game one on April 23, Alvers had two hits and one RBI. In the second game of the double header, Alvers also had two hits, but those two scored five runs, helping the Blue Demons to a 17-0 win.

“I was honestly really shocked at first because I was like, ‘wow I never thought this would happen to me like especially being a freshman,’ but I was super excited,” Alvers said on the honor. “All my roommates were there when we found out and they were really happy for me and I’m just really grateful to play with them and they’re literally my number one supporters.”