Women's Softball Goes Legit
Two years ago, the women’s softball squad at Sarah Lawrence practiced twice a week, wrapping up the spring with a scrimmage against members of the College staff. Last year, a more formalized team met three times weekly, testing itself in seven games against area colleges. Finally, in 2005, Sarah Lawrence softball went legit, joining the Hudson Valley Women’s Athletic Conference (HVWAC) and playing its home games on a brand new field sculpted out of Marshall Field lawn.
By the time you read this, the brief season will have concluded (visit www.sarahlawrence.edu for results). But in the heady days of early spring training, when the team sweated indoors while its field dozed under an abiding mantle of snow, optimism ran high about the value of teamwork and the personal challenge of organized athletics.
“Our goal is to come together as a team,” says captain Michaela Jeantete ’06. “We’re going to strive to win, but teamwork is more important.”
“I just started last year,” explains Bekah Hayes ’05, recruited by another player after having never been on a sports team. “My friends never knew what I went off and did; I would just disappear for a while. I really enjoy the struggle to learn the actual techniques.”
Director of Physical Education and Athletics Mary LeVine coached the team, assisted by Sara Kapp, a graduate student in human genetics.
“I talk a lot about team chemistry,” LeVine says. “You can have a successful team without winning a lot of games. We might not match up with other teams in experience and talent, but we’ll match them in intensity and focus, and we’ll exceed them in sportsmanship and positive attitude.”
The 16-woman team includes 10 seniors and two first-years; players who have been hitting a ball for most of their lives and others for whom athletics were never more than distant shouts from another world. Tiffany Gorrebeeck ’05 considered theatre her calling until she decided to try softball, discovering that she is blessed with a strong throwing arm. Sometimes it launches the ball far above and beyond its mark; nevertheless, she says, “I’m telling all my friends to show up for the games."
“We take it seriously, but not so seriously that we don’t enjoy ourselves.”