By John Niswander
Elm Staff Writer
Last season the Shorewomen came up one win short of capturing the Centennial Conference tournament championship. They finished with a record of 22-20, 11-5 in conference play, and secured the top seed in the Centennial Conference tournament for the first time in college history. The team has qualified for the Centennial Conference Tournament five times in the past six years. This season, the team’s goal is simple.
“The goal for our team this season is to win a championship,” said junior Allyson Meil.
Last season, Meil played in all 42 games for the Shorewomen and registered 21 hits. Meil returns to the team as the starting catcher. She was voted one of the team’s three captains as well.
“It felt amazing to be named one of the captains for this season because it is such an honor. I am looking forward to helping lead our team to another championship and winning the whole thing,” she said.
Another starter who returns from last year’s team is junior Elaina DiPrimio. As a sophomore, DiPrimio was voted the most improved player by her teammates and coaches.
“I was honored and humbled to be selected by my teammates and coaches as the most improved player last year as a sophomore. I was motivated by the fact that I got to start and play in some games as a freshman. It fueled my desire to improve my abilities in order to be on the field as a starting player last year. I’m definitely more confident as an upperclassman, but I never lose site of the fact that I have to continuously improve to help WC win,” she said.
DiPrimio relayed the same message as Meil regarding the team’s goal is this season.
“Our goal this year is simple; to make it back to the playoffs and successfully compete for the championship which we were one win away from winning last year. We’ve all worked so hard this offseason conditioning and strength training with Coach Jonnie Jenkins to get to where we are now. This is a great group of girls and I know we are ready to play this season,” she said.
The Shorewomen’s roster consists of 14 players: two seniors, five juniors, four sophomores and three freshmen.
“We return 11 players from last year’s team. Six of them were starters for us,” said Coach Lacey Lister.
Junior pitcher Milly Kawabata is looking to contribute and lead the younger players more this season as an upperclassman.
“This season I want to make every inning I pitch count, and also be a leader as an upperclassman to help us get to the Centennial Conference championship,” she said.
The Shorewomen open up their 2017 season with four games in two days at the Triangle Grand Slam Classic in Cary, N.C. on February 25-26.
“Next weekend I would like for us to come away with at least three wins. It will be a great weekend for us to get in some very competitive games and see what we need to work on moving forward. This is a great group of young women with a lot of potential. I am so excited for our season and have high hopes that their hard work and dedication will have big payoffs at the end of the season,” said Coach Lister.