By ALEX SPONSELLER
The Pilgrim softball team is picking up where it left off last year when it reached the state finals, winning its first seven games and sitting atop the Division I …
By ALEX SPONSELLER
The Pilgrim softball team is picking up where it left off last year when it reached the state finals, winning its first seven games and sitting atop the Division I standings.
Pilgrim’s biggest win so far came last Saturday when it hosted Coventry, who topped the Pats in the championship series. Pilgrim would hold on to win a tight 8-6 decision to keep its win streak alive and make a statement.
“At the end of the day, I think both teams tried not to show their hands. It was a rematch, but both teams knew that in a way, it was an exhibition. The big game that will be played between us will be in June,” said Pilgrim coach Carlos Rodas, whose team is already looking like a favorite to compete for a title.
The Pilgrim roster returns All-State pitcher Alyssa Twomey as well as senior Amelia Murphy. Murphy currently leads the team with a .529 batting average while Twomey is unbeaten in the circle with a .55 ERA.
“Her growing pains came last year, last year was her coming out party. Toward the end of the season she went from being the new girl on the block to, everyone wants to beat her. That was something that she had to get used to. This year, she is probably the best player in the state and everyone has her marked on their calendar. The big-time players understand that and relish being on everyone’s hit list,” Rodas said of Twomey.
Rodas added of Murphy: “She’s our quiet leader. She has a lot of high school experience. As much as travel ball has helped these girls, the high school experience is different. Playing for the community, playing for your school, in front of your friends. Murph has that experience, she has probably five, six, seven games at Rhode Island College so she knows the goal and she’s able to communicate that to the younger kids.”
Also making a splash for the Pats is freshman Genna D’Amato, who leads the team with nine runs. Sophomore Audra McDonnell has also provided production as an underclassman with seven runs scored and an on base percentage of .619.
“That’s the key. The young kids are the tipping point of the team. With the older girls, we know what we have with Murphy and Twomey, they’re our two big guns. We’re relying on some of the young kids, we have started three freshmen in every game. We know that if they are ready come June, then we will be right in this thing. It might be too big of a task to ask the upperclassmen to carry the team against the teams like the Coventry’s of the world,” said Rodas.
The Pats have a handful of tough matchups coming up in the next few weeks. Pilgrim is set to take on St. Ray’s, Cranston West, a pair of contests against La Salle, as well as one more meeting against the Oakers.
Taking it one game at a time and maintaining a steady pace will be key in navigating the DI dogfight, according to Rodas.
“That’s the fun part about Division I, there are now gimmes. It makes it exciting every time we take the field. Coventry taught us something last year, they taught us that it is a marathon, not a (sprint). That’s the key,” said Rodas. “We understand that we have a chance to be in it at the end but we need to be focused on the marathon. We peaked a little early last year and we are trying to avoid that.”
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