When many people on campus hear about the St. Mary’s Ladies Club Softball team, the response is often “St. Mary’s has a softball team?” The answer to that question is a definite yes. Softball is a relatively new club sport, created about four years ago.
It started off small but has been growing strong ever since. The club welcomes all skill levels from high school all-stars to those who have never even seen a softball before. We have had many girls join the club that haven’t picked up a ball in years and have become some of our greatest players.
The club plays in both the fall and the spring and our practice schedule varies between semesters.
We typically practice three times a week from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. and alternate between batting and fielding practice. There is a backstop located on North Fields where the club practices but without a dirt field on campus, we have started to practice off campus at a small park about 10 minutes down Route 5.
The club plays fastpitch softball and the games are competitive. We play our games at Chancellor’s Point Park in town or away at the opponent’s field. In the past, we have played two games in the fall and about four in the spring.
We play against the softball club teams of other colleges such as the University of Maryland and Mount St. Mary’s. These games are double-headers, meaning that we play two consecutive games and they are always on a weekend as not to interfere with classes and other commitments.
Since St. Mary’s does not have a varsity softball team, it is our goal to build up the team and prove that we are capable of eventually becoming varsity. The team has seen great improvement since it was started, including the addition of our coach, Ray Raley.
He has made the softball team one of his priorities, and because of him, we have been given greater opportunities for practices and games. This includes the opportunities to practice with local high school travel teams, the option for pitchers to practice with specialized trainers, and offering the team a structured practice whereas we would otherwise have to run everything on our own.
He understands the game from personal experience and has taught the team how to work together by combining our individual abilities.
As a team, we love the game of softball and want to see our team succeed. We have a lot of fun during the season and always encourage new members to join. Though the fall season has ended, we will be starting a conditioning program in the gym as soon as the spring semester begins. This will include drills, batting cage practice, and, most importantly, team bonding.
Everyone needs to work together when on a sports team and the softball team is no exception. Forming friendships within the team is almost inevitable and the members that have graduated continuously check in because there is an attachment that forms from being part of the club.
Again, we encourage anyone with an interest in playing softball to come and try it out. The softball club requires some commitment but we fully recognize that school comes first. The team has all of the equipment needed such as bats, balls, and even a few extra gloves.
The softball team is growing and it is our goal to gain as much support as we can. If you have any questions or want more information, please feel free to contact Ray Raley, Megan Kelley (president), or Kylie Robillard (vice president).