Written by Gregory Giaconelli, email@example.com Thursday, 08 May 2014 09:50
As the softball season wraps up, Adelphi’s Lady Panthers are aiming to finish strong and make another run at the Northeast-10 title. The Panthers are looking good and appear to be a lock in postseason with an impressive 14-8 NE-10 campaign and 25-16 overall record.
It felt like yesterday when the Panthers won it all last season during Coach Breanne Nasti’s inaugural season at the helm. Adelphi would go on to post a staggering 25-5 record in Northeast-10 Conference play, eventually capturing not only the Southwest Division Regular Season crown but also winning the program’s first tournament title, as the fifth seed in the NCAA East Regional. Coach Nasti and her assistants Ophir Sadeh and Leah McIntosh were named the NFCA Division II East Region Coaching Staff of the Year, thus another first-time accomplishment for the program.
This year’s squad is looking to rekindle the same magic from last season. “Our pitchers are doing really well,” said Nasti. “They give us a chance to win every game.” While they can put runs on the board, pitching and defense have been the catalyst for the Lady Panthers’ success this year. Senior Katie Andrews is one player who has been able to get it done on both sides of the field by leading the team in most offensive categories as well as being a workhouse on the mound. Another key cog to the Panthers lineup is junior Victoria Wink, the number 3 hitter in the lineup who provides the team with power and run production.
Considering the team’s success, they had to face plenty of challenges and adversity. The weather has put a major wrinkle in the squad’s schedule. Many match-ups have been postponed due to rain at Adelphi and on the road, which puts them at fewer games than other teams at this point. Another obstacle they had to overcome is playing a full season with a small roster. With only 13 players on the roster, one injury could be catastrophic according to the head coach.
“God forbid someone gets hurt, our options are limited,” Nasti pointed out.
Getting the team prepared for road trips was also instrumental to its success. Coach Nasti preaches team discipline and pre-game preparation was also a key element in this season’s dominance. By putting aside other distractions encountered on the road, the Lady Panthers maintained a crucial balance of softball with schoolwork.
The Lady Panthers are looking to not only get into the postseason action, but expect to contend for regional and conference championships once again. “We’re not taking anything for granted,” said Nasti. “We hope to be playing our best softball in the postseason.”