Softball Season Starts With Impressive Trio in Hargreaves, Schaeffer, and Becker

From left to right: Olivia Haregreaves, Victoria Becker, and Sydney Schaeffer. Photos courtesy of Bridgewater State University Athletics & Recreation.

The Bridgewater State Bears softball team started the season on their spring break trip to the Fast Pitch Dreams Spring Classic in Little River, South Carolina, where they faced teams from across the country. The team would go 6-3 in that stretch and were led by a trio of young athletes: sophomore outfielder Victoria Becker, freshman pitcher Olivia Hargreaves, and shortstop Sydney Schaefer. All three athletes won MASCAC Player of the Week honors for their performance on the Spring Break trip.

During the trip, Becker batted a .440 average with two home runs, two doubles, one triple, two stolen bases, five runs, and seven RBIs. The two home runs against Misericordia and Penn St. Abington were her first collegiate home runs, as she hit none during her freshman season. Since then she has collected six hits, including a double in the first game of a twinbill against Norwich in the home opener on March 16.

Schaefer batted a .433 average with four doubles, one triple, one walk, two stolen bases, four runs scored, and nine RBIs during the trip. The one triple was in a 9-1 win against Cedar Crest. Schaefer leads the team in hits as she has 20 hits on the season.

Hargreaves made her first collegiate start against St. Elizabeth on March 3, where she went four innings, allowed four hits, three runs (1 earned), one walk, and one strikeout. She got her first win in a six-inning complete game in the 9-1 win against Penn St.-Beaver where she struck out six batters. In total, she had made seven pitching appearances (three starts) with a 2-1 record, and an impressive 0.82 ERA to start the season.

To prepare for a game, Becker and Hargreaves think about the previous game and how they can do better. For Becker, this can apply to at-bats or defense in the outfield, while for Hargreaves, this can apply to various pitches such as the fastball or changeup. But Schaefer doesn’t think about the past. She told The Comment, “I think, thinking too much will make it worse, so I try to focus more on what’s coming next and the game that’s about to happen and what I can do to be better.”

All three met BSU coaches in high school during the recruiting process, however, not all of them originally went to BSU. Becker originally went to Springfield College, only to find that it wasn’t the best fit for her. So, she transferred to BSU, where some of her friends went. She said that she “had a lot of friends here tell me when I wasn’t the happiest at Springfield that they would help me around at Bridgewater since I was considering coming here when transferring, and I did transfer my spring semester of freshman year. I tried out for the Softball team, and was a walk-on, and made the team that spring semester when I was a freshman.” Hargreaves, when applying for schools, wanted to go out of state, but wanted to be not too far away from home.

Becker aspires to get a doctorate in physical therapy someday. Hargreaves, an accounting and finance major, wants to attend graduate school. Schaefer is currently undecided as of this moment but is currently looking into a business major.

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