Following sweep, softball ready for Iona and Pitt
With the weekend’s sweep against Georgetown, the softball team looks to extend their win streak against Iona and Pittsburgh.
Seton Hall started off the season slow. Since clinching two of the three games against St. John’s on April 10 and 11, the Pirates (15-28, 6-8) have turned their season for the better.
“Our entire infield was brand new,” head coach Ray Vander May said. “They had to really learn how to play those positions.”
Seton Hall’s new line-up consisted of moving around different players.
Junior shortstop Brittany Schillizzi is now positioned at second base.
Sophomore Laura Canulli has also been relocated to third base.
On top of all those changes, the Pirates have freshman Brittany Hammer playing shortstop.
“It’s really about game experience and maturity,” Vander May said. “The talent was always there, but they hadn’t matured. They hadn’t gained a lot of confidence.”
Despite some losses, Seton Hall has continued working hard and remained optimistic in winning more games with that sense of confidence.
Some of that assurance has come from the team’s two senior pitchers: Ashley Forsyth and Danielle Zanzalari.
The Pirates have also received leadership from captain and junior outfielder Michelle Reed who struggled with a batting average below .200 earlier on, but is now leading the team with a .377.
Junior outfielder Jamie Gates is now batting second in the line up where she has the ability to have key hits for the team in order to move players and score runs.
“This week in practice, we’ll touch up on all our mistakes that we need to work on,” Gates said. “We need to improve to make sure we come out with three more Big East wins this weekend.”
The Gaels (20-15) are undefeated in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, however, Seton Hall will look for more players to step up and make some hits for the team.
The Pirates will also be starting a different line up when facing Iona. Forsyth and Zanzalari will not be pitching, so that Seton Hall can find another player to improve the depth for the pitchers on the mound.
Then, Seton Hall will travel to Pittsburgh, Pa. to take on the Panthers.
Pittsburgh (22-17, 6-5) is seated sixth in Big East, just two spots ahead of the Pirates.
Defensively, Seton Hall matches up well with Pittsburgh. However, the Panthers look to run a lot, but sophomore catcher Nicole Loewenstein should be able to shut them down with her throwing behind home plate.
“The difference I see in them now with that confidence is that they’re having fun,” Vander May said. “When you’re losing, it’s not a lot of fun. When you see the reward of winning through your hard efforts, it changes things.”
The Pirates will play Iona at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday at Ivy Hill Park. Seton Hall will then play a double header at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday at Pittsburgh. Then, the Hall will finish up the series with one last game at 12 p.m. on Sunday.
Krissy Wrobel can be reached at email@example.com.