By Bobby Colla
Hudson Valley’s softball team plays their first game on Tuesday, and their depth at each position is what head coach Christopher Mazzeo said, is their best attribute.
“Right now we have eight starting positions that are pretty much locked in as ‘starters’ is how it is said. We had an unseen circumstance happen, and one of the positions isn’t really locked down,” said Mazzeo. Mazzeo said, he is very happy with the effort put forth by the players and has had to make some tougher decisions, and it makes the team better, according to him. “It has been a challenge at each position, which is always nice,” Mazzeo said.
“I am pretty up front with the team,” said Mazzeo. The honesty he said he has toward the team helps them understand why he makes the decisions he does for the team.
“It makes it easier for us to just play,” said Sophomore Outfielder Jackie Rossi. The team is practicing either in the HVCC McDonough Field House, or in the hitting cages at the Joe Bruno Stadium facilities on campus. “This year has been different from last year. The talent we have allows us to do more in practice,” she added.
Mazzeo said the depth will also help the team with their exhaustion factor. “In the past it has been very difficult playing two games a day, but this year we have a more acclimated roster with two pitchers,” he said. The arms have been a factor, according to Mazzeo. The team has had just one pitcher in each of the last two seasons.
According to Freshman Pitcher and Infielder Shannon Johnson, the pitching will not be a problem. “It’s nice to be able to rest one of our pitchers one day or for a game, so that they’re a fresh arm we can go to,” she said.
One thing Mazzeo is weary about is the environment factor. “It is hard to judge, because a player can be great inside and then we get outside and it totally changes,” he said. The players just need to adjust well, according to Mazzeo.
Mazzeo also said he is very pleased with the team’s defense all around. “I can put anyone in defensively, and I do not see a letdown in our defense,” he said. “The divide is our hitting. Our top nine are better hitters than our bottom seven,” he added.
“We are good, but we can always improve on something,” said Johnson. She added, that the team is practicing very hard and is excited for the season to start.
“We are working with those players on improving on the hitting aspect,” said Mazzeo. “Overall I am excited. I think we have a very good team this year,” he added.
“We want to improve any way we can from last year,” said Rossi.
Softball opens their season at home on Tuesday, March 31 at 3pm against Mohawk Valley, unless mother nature gives us more surprises. Both Baseball and Lacrosse have had home games cancelled due to the snowy weather.