It’s like it’s 1996 over at Potter Field. The Springfield College softball team is rolling, and 12 games into the season, there has been no signs of the Pride letting up.
Following a 9-1 start in Kissimmee, Fla., Springfield returned from its spring break trip to face a NEWMAC foe that was arguably off to just as hot of a start in the Coast Guard Bears. Coast Guard entered the March 25 weekend double header contest 10-2, and thanks to a good old early spring New England snow storm that brushed western Massachusetts, the Bears faced off against the Pride on their home field.
But Coast Guard couldn’t even score a run. The Pride shut it out 9-0 in game one, and 8-0 in game two. The 9-0 victory was padded by Kirsten Drobiak, who finished the game six for seven at the plate, while delivering the back breaking grand slam in the bottom of the sixth. Talia Loda spun her fourth shutout of the season, which improves her record to 6-0 and tallies her strikeout total to 18. Loda’s 0.68 ERA thus far is a career best. Shelby Allen followed suit in game two, as the sophomore pitched a complete game, which boosts her record to 3-1. It was a pure clinic coming from the Springfield side considering that the team hung 17 runs on a formidable opponent, and exited New London without a single scratch on the team ERA.
What has made this 2017 machine roar to an 11-1 record through its first 12, is a combination of two factors. First is the overpowering effectiveness that has come from within the pitching circle for the Pride. The charge, which has been led by Loda and Allen up to this point, has garnered a collective ERA of 1.43. Opponents have been stymied. And it doesn’t help when one has to deal with the trio of Drobiak (.444, one homerun, 18 RBIs), Carianna Gasdia (.535, one homerun, 10 stolen bases) and Allie Wheeler (.500, one homerun, 9 RBIs, 5 stolen bases) on the other side of the ball. The three have helped lead the team to a .338 batting average, and have dented team ERAs since the start of the season. The Pride’s opposition’s ERA this year is 4.54.
A hot start can never truly be dwelled upon, in a long regular season. A strong finish to compliment a strong start is what cements the legacy of great teams. The Pride is playing as loose as it possibly can, and its yet to let up efficiency should put other NEWMAC teams on notice.