By ALEX SPONSELLER The Pilgrim softball team enjoyed one of the best runs in the state prior to the pandemic, reaching the Division I Semifinals two years in a row. Now, the Lady Pats return a young roster featuring just three seniors after graduating
By ALEX SPONSELLER The Pilgrim softball team enjoyed one of the best runs in the state prior to the pandemic, reaching the Division I Semifinals two years in a row.
Now, the Lady Pats return a young roster featuring just three seniors after graduating six starters who all went off to play college ball. Also along for the ride this spring will be new head coach Carlos Rodas, who was set to take over last season prior to being shut down.
Despite the inexperience on the team, Rodas believes that the team will be competitive and the youngsters are prepared to step into big roles.
“I think we’ll be pretty good. We graduated six seniors that are playing college softball now. It’s a young group. The good thing is that softball has changed a lot in Rhode Island, kids are playing hundreds of games a year between summer leagues and travel. Kids are a lot more prepared to step in as young players,” said Rodas, who also feels that he has been connecting well with the newcomers. “I think it helps. When you’re a new coach, it’s easier to convert kids that are coming in that know nothing else but the new coach. I have been around softball for a long time and I think that helps me help them on what we’re trying to get them to buy into here at Pilgrim.”
The three returning seniors include Madi D’Amato behind the plate, as well as Amelia Murphy and Lily Brown. Two important newcomers will be sophomores Alyssa Twomey and Sophia Chevian, who are slated to be the team’s primary pitchers.
“Before the pandemic, they reached the semis in the previous two seasons. We have big shoes to fill, our goal is to finish the job. (The key) will be our pitching. Our two sophomore pitchers will have to take the ball for probably 90 percent of our innings, we’ll have to surround them with a lot of talented upperclassmen as well, but pitching will be key,” said Rodas.
Considering the way last season went, the seniors are excited to get back out there and get one more crack at a state championship.
“They’re excited. Every day, we have been talking about opportunities to play, and the pandemic, kids walked off the field as sophomores but now they’re back and they’re four weeks away from senior day,” said Rodas. “They are really excited to be back. Every day on the field is a gift and they recognize that.”