The ENC Women’s Softball team has improved recently after a rough start to the season in Florida for spring training.
The Lady Lions sport a 10-12 record so far and look to be trending upwards after sweeping Wentworth April 9, winning their third consecutive game. The team played ten games while in Florida and only managed to win three of them. Despite their struggles, the team has developed a tight bond with each other.
“We didn’t do as well as we thought we could do, but one thing we did do was a lot of bonding, and built new friendships since most of the team is new,” sophomore pitcher Heidi Gomez (Floral Park, NY) said.
Ten out of the twelve current players are competing in their first collegiate season, including Gomez, who’s been one of the most consistent players on the roster. She currently leads the Commonwealth Coast Conference in total strikeouts (70) and is currently third in wins (6). Another newcomer on the team, Lauren Clements (Garrison, Texas), has shown her consistency through her play at the plate, as she is second in the conference in both home runs (3) and RBIs (20).
Despite the individual success and team bonding, maintaining composure at the end of games has been one of Coach Bishop’s points of emphasis.
“We have given up a lot of leads this year and haven’t been able to close games well,” she says. “I think we need to work on our mental game and emotions in order to improve on finishing games.”
Despite their late-game troubles, with 11 wins already, the team has surpassed their combined win total over the past two seasons. The only player currently on the team that played two seasons ago is junior Kaitlyn Jimenez (Meriden, Conn.). She’s currently having her best season so far and owes much of her success to the arrival of Coach Bishop.
“It was a good change,” Jimenez expresses. “She knows what she’s talking about, she’s very supportive, and all she wants is what is best for us. She is really making strides to improve not only the team but the program in general.”
Bishop served as an assistant coach at Southwestern Community College before becoming the head softball coach position at ENC. She cites building a winning expectation as one of the biggest adjustments she has had to make in her first season coaching here.
“There hasn’t been a winning expectation from this program in a while and that is something I had at Southwestern. However, this season I expect us to compete for a spot in the conference tournament,” Bishop said.
Despite a few recent losses to teams such as Umass, and Roger Williams, the team hopes to continue strengthening their wins, and bonds, before playoffs begin.