By: Chris Czachor, student journalist
While students were traveling in all different directions as Spring break started, The Husson University Softball team headed south to begin their 2016 season. The team traveled to Florida to take on Division III teams from all over the country in the Rebel Spring Games. All of the games were played at the Osceola county softball complex in Kissimmee, Florida.
The Eagles notched a 2-10 record during their time in Florida. They started the week off on the right note with a 2-1 win over Mount Saint Joseph on Sunday. The Eagles then entered an offensive cold streak, as they were held scoreless through their next three games. Husson dropped seven games in a row before putting forward one of their strongest performances of the week in a 4-1 victory over Thomas More on Friday. The Eagles highest scoring output was their seven runs against Bridgewater on Tuesday.
Although the Eagles did not pick up as many wins as they would have liked to on the trip, the team picked up a lot of experience. Their was little time to rest, as the team played two games per day from Sunday through Saturday, with an exception of their day off on Wednesday. This experience is pivotal for the young Eagles team, considering they are loaded with young talent, including eight freshmen. Sophomore outfielder Brianna Bires believes that the team learned a lot more on the trip than their record shows.
“Now that we have had that week in Florida, I think the team is much closer now and more girls know what it is like to be part of Husson softball,” said Bires, “I saw girls step up that I wouldn’t have guessed would step up.”
One of those young players who stepped up was Freshman Kristen Chipman. Chipman is a versatile player who can play at either middle infield position or in the outfield. Chipman swung a hot bat in Florida, putting up an impressive .308 batting average to begin her Eagles career. Her hot start got her plenty of action as she appeared in 11 of the Eagles 12 games, and even found her way up to the number 2 spot in the lineup. Bires was one of many players who were impressed by Chipman’s play.
“Kristen Chipman, a freshmen on the team impressed me very much. She stepped up to the plate offensively,” said Bires.
The Eagles also saw their trip to Florida as a chance to bond and get to know new players. They stayed in three houses in Davenport, Florida, with a coach assigned to each house. Each house hosted a team dinner for the rest of the team, with all the food being made by team members. Surely the team was exhausted and hungry after playing two games per day, so it was essential for the team to be able to relax and refuel.
The Eagles softball team will return to action on Saturday March 26 when they travel to Rhode Island college. Their North Atlantic Conference schedule does not begin until April 9 when they host Castleton.