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Women's softball kicks off season

The women's softball team began its 2011 season this weekend, traveling to Hampton, Va., for the Lady Pirates Classic, where they faced Hampton, Marist, Rutgers and Central Connecticut State University. The women emerged with a 1-2-1 record, beating Hampton in their season opener 3-2, then falling 9-2 to Marist and 15-3 to Rutgers before tying CCSU 2-2.

Though the Bears struggled, players said they are optimistic about the team's prospects.

"We definitely have one of the best teams that this school has seen in a long time," said Kate Strobel '12. "We're just a solid team offensively, infield and outfield."

"Our team goals are to always improve with every season, which I think we have the past two years," Strobel added.

In 2009, the team posted a 12-26 record, and last season, the Bears were nearly even at 20-22.

Bruno has a large first-year class — eight out of 18 roster members are in the class of 2014 — and upperclassmen are confident the rookies will quickly become effective members of the team.  

"All eight of them are big athletes who are going to make huge contributions to the roster," Strobel said.

Kristie Chin '11, the lone senior on the roster and a second team All-Ivy selection last season, said the veteran players have worked to acclimate their new teammates to college softball.

"The upperclassmen have done a great job to help the freshmen become more familiar," Chin said. "Upperclassmen take extra time for extra hitting lessons and grounders."

The practice seemed to have paid off for the newcomers at the Lady Pirates Classic.

Infielder Jen Kries '14, batting leadoff in her college debut, scored the team's first run, coasting in from scoring position after Stephanie Thompson's '13 RBI double. The Bears added another run in the opening frame and held a 3-0 lead going into the seventh inning. Chin, who had only yielded four hits in the first six innings, held on in the seventh to grab a complete-game 3-2 win.

Kries rounded the bases again in the CCSU game, singling up the middle and then running home on Kristi Munoz's '14 hit.

Maegan Sloggett '14 and Kristen Watterlond '14 scored the team's two runs against Marist, and Kries and Munoz both crossed home in the Rutgers game.

The Bears next play Friday through Sunday at the UMBC Dawg Pound Invitational in Baltimore, Md. Though the team is already looking towards the slate of Ivy games in April — Strobel said the "first goal is winning Ivies for sure" — the young squad must first gain vital experience from nonconference games.

"We look at every game in itself, not necessarily working up to the Ivies or anything else," Chin said.


— With additional reporting by Tony Bakshi


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