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Softball on hot streak following Florida trip

by Panagiotis Argitis
Tue, Mar 27th 2018 09:00 pm
Sophomore infielder Jessica Koneski (above) eyes down the oncoming pitch and successfully hits.That strike is part of Brockport's combined batting average of .439,the second best in the nation for Division III.
Sophomore infielder Jessica Koneski (above) eyes down the oncoming pitch and successfully hits.That strike is part of Brockport's combined batting average of .439,the second best in the nation for Division III.

Good batting isn’t the only aspect to a title- contesting softball team’s game, but finishing with five grand slams, seven home runs and scoring 130 runs throughout 14 games isn’t a team you come across everyday. The College at Brockport softball team finished its week- long Fort Myers, Florida, trip in emphatic fashion, and claiming that the team was out- standing throughout the trip duration might just be an understatement.

Currently the second best batting team in the nation for Division III college softball with a combined average of .439, the Golden Eagles got more than just a tan during their time in

Florida. The team enjoyed a positive winning percentage of .571 from a current season record of 8—6, and although that might not seem as impressive as it looks, its record fails to tell the entire story.

Collective teamwork is a critical part of a win- ning side, and that goes for any sports team. That being said, the team’s dominance throughout the entirety of the current season has been a product of its family-like on-field and off-field chemistry. Apart from the crucial role that it plays outside of games, the players’ understanding of one another has been the backbone of their competitive con- sistency against opposition.

“This is the closest team and group of friends I have ever been a part of,” senior pitcher Becky Knorr said. “It’s not hard to understand why people outside of the team refer to us as family. I know they are all there for me just like I am there for them, as a leader, but also as a best friend, on and off the field.”

Starting a season off with more than 10 away games in the span of five days isn’t an easy task for any team, but that goes without ques- tion. The Golden Eagles’ resilience during their

first challenge of the calendar year is definitely impressive. Nevertheless, the ability to lock into getting the absolute most out of their perfor- mances made the team close to unstoppable.

From a total of 14 matchups against some of the best teams in the country, the team scored in double digits for more than 50 percent of those games. The Green and Gold were on fire, and despite an expected period of settling into live game action that came with a cost of two losses from the first five games, the team found its hit- ting gloves and began to strike its targets out.

“We cracked the ball down there, we killed it,” sophomore infielder Jessica Koneski said. “Every victory we had in Florida was a com- plete team effort. People pulled through when they needed to which is something that oppo- nents should be scared of as the SUNYAC play- offs come into the picture.”

With a good tally of above average showings under their belts, the Golden Eagles will look to carry their Florida form into playoffs, and they would be above performing at a level above opposition by doing so. Compared to Brock- port’s result efficiency, there are only two other

teams—Geneseo and Oswego—from a total of nine competing for the SUNYAC title with a greater winning percentage of .500. However, Brockport has achieved that throughout a 14 game period in relation to the 10 games that the rest of the SUNYAC teams did.

Despite the team’s great run thus far, there is still plenty of room for improvement before it is able to master playoffs.

“Defense is something we need to work on,” Koneski said. “Better bunt coverage and just knowing where to go and when. If we fix these things a SUNYAC championship could be in our future.”

Brockport is on the right path, and if it finds the balance between perfecting its game and working toward consistency, SUNYAC success will follow. The Golden Eagles are one game away from the start of playoff opposition. They play the Nazareth Golden Flyers Wednesday, March 28, at 3 and 5 p.m. before their first play- off matchup against the Plattsburgh Cardinals on Friday, March 30.

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