By Emily Hayes
The Bridgewater State University softball team’s season is coming down to crunch time as they are trying to a secure a spot in the postseason.
The Bears are 17-13 on the season, winning five of their last six games. Bridgewater State is trying to finish the season strong as they have been working through several challenges this year including the resignation of former head coach Lori Salvia just eight games into the season.
“Our coach leaving was a huge positive for us because we built from it and I think that, not that she had a negative impact on us, I feel we actually pulled together as a team,” said senior captain and third baseman Jennifer Shaw. “We wanted to prove to [head coach Allie LeBlanc] that we could do it as a team and stay united and I think that it brought all of us together.”
On Sunday, the Lady Bears played a doubleheader against Salem State University, in which they won both games snapping Salem State’s 12 game winning streak.
In game one against Salem State, the Bears won 3-0. Junior captain and pitcher Amber White led the Bears from the mound only allowing four hits. White has not allowed an earned run in her last 23 innings pitched. She was recently named Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Softball Pitcher of the Week.
“I don’t even know until one of my teammates or coaches tells me,” said White on earning recognition for her efforts. “I just try and go out to do my best every game. To be recognized for it is great, but I personally just want to do my best every time.”
Senior catcher Brianna Strecker scored two runs in the win for the Bears and she hit a double and had a stolen base. The third run of the game was scored by sophomore shortstop Jocelyn Bettencourt.
The second game was pitched by senior captain Meghan Dunn, who pitched a complete game, striking out four, giving up eleven hits and allowing two runs. She improved to 7-8 on the season. Strecker scored another two runs in the second game. Infielder Jill Welch had two runs batted in on the day and Shaw had a run to finish the game for the Bears.
The Bears only have six games remaining in the regular season and they are not relaxing.
“We have to take every game serious, regardless of if they have a winning record or not,” Shaw said. “We can’t take any team lightly, we have to play to our level of ability and we can’t slack at any point.”
Bridgewater State has had success over the past two weeks from getting off to fast starts.
“We really need to work on getting ahead in the games,” White said. “It really motivates our team when we can score in the first inning like we did in both games at Salem.”
The Bears are going to end their season on April 27 and hope to be playing their best once they enter the postseason.
“There’s always something to work on,” Bettencourt said.
Bridgewater will play a doubleheader on April 25 at home against University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth with start time scheduled for 3 and 5 p.m. The Lady Bears close out their regular season on Saturday when they .travel to Framingham State University.
Emily Hayes is a Comment staff writer. Follow her on Twitter at @em12ha or email her at email@example.com.