By Jordan Hoke

Jhoke@my.madonna.edu

The Madonna University women’s softball team is coming off one of the best seasons the program has ever seen. The Crusaders finished last season with a 53-11 record and made the national tournament.  Only losing three starters, the team has expectations for this upcoming season.

“Getting back to the national tournament again is always on our minds,” said senior Caitlyn Sidor. “Achieving this will take a combination of hard work and dedication on and off the field.”

The Crusaders will have to keep focused, taking it a day at a time, and not look past any opponent. 

“Keeping focused and not looking ahead is going to play a big role in achieving our main goal,” said Sidor. “We have recently started having team nights where we make dinner, hang out, and get to know each other. I feel that in order to be successful on the field it is necessary to build relationships off the field. We all need to be comfortable with each other and trust one another.”

The Crusaders also return four All-Conference winners from a season ago:  senior’s Brittney Scero and Sidor, along with juniors Ashley Shay and All-American pitcher Jessica Irwin. 

Second basemen Scero led the team in a number of offensive categories last season. She ended with 79 total hits, a batting average of .383, and scored a team high 61 runs.

First basemen Sidor had 62 hits a season ago, while hitting .315, driving in a team high 48 runs, and led the team with eight home runs.

Catcher Shay started all 64 games, batted .350 with a team high 17 doubles and four home runs.

On the mound, Irwin racked up some sensational numbers. She had a 33-9 record with a 1.62 ERA while striking out a school best 423 batters in 256.1 innings.

The Crusaders have also brought in eight talented freshmen who will play a huge role in the team’s success. “These freshmen have been working hard all summer and fall to prepare for the upcoming season” said Irwin. “I feel they will have a huge impact from the beginning and will contribute to the team on making it an even more successful season than last.”

The softball team is set to take the field March 6 against Purdue University-North Central in Arizona. Their first home game at University Field is April 7 as they take on conference foe Michigan-Dearborn at 4 p.m.

Check out their full season schedule at www.MadonnaCrusaders.com.

 










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