Norwich softball looks forward to strong season

This year, the Norwich Softball team is working hard and early on creating a “family-like atmosphere” when working on their fall season and working their way into their spring season, say members of the women’s squad.
For cadet Makenna Wade, team building is a key goal. “I’m cadre, but when I’m on the softball field I’m just Makenna,” said Wade, 20, a junior computer science major from Pensacola, Fla., who is a shortstop for the Norwich softball team.
Wade really wants to focus on the team bonding and the chemistry that this team holds, as well as making sure that the team looks professional in what they do.

“We’ve always seemed like a hodge-podge sort of team. This year I’ve written my own kind of SOP (standard operating procedure) for the team, so I’m really hoping to change that aspect,” said Wade.
Wade says that one of her others goals is to look good, and that if the team looks good, then the team will take pride and work hard to play well.
“One thing that has somewhat hurt the program in the past,” said Wade, is that the program has seen three different coaches, so there hasn’t been much stability for a while when it comes to the coaching the team receives.
That may be the case, but there are hopes for a change. Katelyn Reid, a junior computer security intelligence major from Gold Canyon, Ariz., who plays second base for the team, said she “thinks that the relationship between the players and the coach this year will make a big difference in how we do this year.” She thinks that the incoming freshmen class this year, along with coach Craig Billings as head coach, will help to make strides for this program.
Reid explained how having the team be more serious and stricter when it comes to defense and offense on the field this year is something that is important when it comes to fixing and restructuring the team.
“Looking at tryouts and seeing that they (the freshmen) were working their hardest and just balling out really was already a highlight for me as well as for the program,” said Reid.
Outfielder Felicia Armell, a junior athletic training major from North Ferrisburgh, Vt., is in agreement with her teammates, saying how she “thinks that we will be the best this program has seen in a while.”
Having an additional coach is also encouraging. “We have Jessica Hindman, a senior here, and she helps out a lot, because she knows the game so well,” said Armell.
According to Hindman, a biochemistry major from Mansfield, Mass., who is in her second year as an assistant coach for softball, she thinks that the arrangement of the coaching staff is going to pay rewards. She said there is “a different dynamic and you can see a positive shift in the girls’ attitudes.”
As far as goals for this year, the team is really hoping to make the playoffs next spring, which is something they were not able to do last year, said Hindman.
“This year, the team is shooting to have over a .600 average,” said Hindman. This would really help the team in making the playoffs and is one of the goals that the team has, according to Wade.
“Some big teams to look out for this year for the team is Johnson and Wales University, as well as St. Joe’s in Connecticut,” said Hindman.
“I think that our defense is strong enough this year, that even if our pitching is off a bit, we can still give the good teams in our conference a tough fight while playing them,” said Wade.

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