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The Suffolk Journal

Softball team welcoming fresh start to season

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The Suffolk women’s softball team comes into the 2011 season looking to improve upon their disappointing finish to last season. The team finished 7-17 last season in the GNAC conference and 9-31 overall.  The team only returns five players from last season’s roster, and will have to rely heavily on their young players to get the job done.

Senior catcher/infielder Clara Conklin, who led the team with six homeruns and 24 RBI last season, says the team has a lot to work on if they want to finish in the upper echelon of the GNAC this year. The changes start with defense for the Lady Rams.

“I think that significant improvements can and need to be made in our defense,” Conklin said. “Last year we struggled on the field and could never seem to find a way to create a successful defensive team.”

The Rams will count on Conklin, along with fellow seniors Monica Ciofi and Jacky Swift, to provide leadership for the rest of the team, and to be a guiding force for the many younger players they have.

The Rams play a difficult schedule this season, as they have a doubleheader with every team they face, except for March 24, when they play Plattsburgh State at 5 p.m.  Every other time the Rams play this season, it will be against the same team back-to-back, which means they can definitely pad their conference record and potentially pick up two GNAC conference wins in one day.

Along with the seniors on the roster, the Rams will count on other players to play a significant role in their potential success this season. It may take a lot to climb to the top of the conference standings, but it seems they may have the group of players to do so.

“Junior Cali Loura will continue to make significant contributions to the team this season”, Conklin explained. “Cali is continuously solid in both the infield and behind the plate.”  Sophomore Lindsey Rogers, who also plays basketball for the Lady Rams, will be counted on to play signifcant innings as she enters her first season with the team.

“Her speed, athleticism, and work ethic are going to allow both her and the rest of the team to improve,” Conklin added.

With such a long season, the Rams must play every game with a sense of urgency, seeing as they will be trying to qualify for the GNAC postseason tournament and the NCAA tournament.

Conklin says the team must go into every game with the mentality that they can win, no matter how good their opponent may be.  If the Rams can get solid contributions all season long from their younger players, the team will have no trouble finding success. Moreover, they could potentially finish in the upper portion of the GNAC conference if everything goes according to plan. That will clearly be a goal all season long for this team.

In the end, it may be too soon to look toward the conference tournament, but with the current team they have, it is not out of the realm of possibility.  Now, they simply have to go out and play the games.

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Softball team welcoming fresh start to season