Championship or bust for softball?

Emily VanLeuven
Staff Writer

Matt Whalen1Matt Whalen | The Hudsonian

Last year the women’s softball team finished third in the nation while posting a record of 22-5 and hope to either achieve the same goal or surpass it this upcoming season with their sights set on nationals.
“We have seven out of our nine starters back so we pretty much have our whole field,” said senior Shannon Johnson from Wynantskill, one of Hudson Valley’s first basemen.
Out of 27 games they played, the Lady Vikings had 247 runs, 17 home runs and held a batting average of .425, which was third in the nation. They also swiped 125 bags (third in nation), has a .425 on base percentage (third in nation), got on base .475 (seventh in nation) and posted a .563 slugging percentage (seventh in nation).
The highlight of the season was making it to the semifinals of the National Tournament in Rochester, Minn. In the process the team defeated three top-five teams: Cumberland, St. Cloud, and Brookdale.
With these wins under their belt there next opponent was their regional rival, Herkimer. The Lady Vikings lost to their division opponent in nationals 8-3 thus ending a historic season. Four out of the five games that the women’s team lost was to Herkimer and it seemed as if the Generals always had an answer for the Vikings.
“Herkimer are our rivals. We actually went to go see them play in the fall and they looked good again so definitely they’re the team to beat, but we have motivation to get better.” Said Johnson.
Last year the Vikings got off to a red hot start winning their first 14 games in a row. They ended with 14-1 for a home record and 7-2 with an away record.
“I think we definitely have more power this year so that’s going to help us,” said catcher Shelby Fenton from Troy. “We have five pitchers instead of one so that was one of our weaker points when they got tired.”
This season will be Chris Mazzeo’s fourth year as head coach. His first season here at the Valley he held a record with his team of 8-12. The following season with a little improvement the team had a record of 11-6, and last year with immense amount of improvement the team went 22-5.
“Third in the nation is great, but we want to win the national championship trophy,” said coach Mazzeo.
The softball team’s first game will be away at Mohawk Valley at the end of the month, Mar. 29 at 3p.m.

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