BY JACOB FORCE // MARCH 27, 2019 //
After returning from a weeklong tournament in Fort Myers, Fla., where they went 5-5, the Curry softball team has won three out of four games in preparation for the start of conference action.
But before the Colonels can begin Commonwealth Coast Conference play this Saturday, March 30, with a double-header at the University of New England, one more non-conference double-header looms. The Colonels will host the Suffolk University Rams this Thursday (March 28) starting at 3 p.m. Suffolk is 6-8 on the season, following two lopsided losses to Brandeis University this past Tuesday.
Freshman outfielder Liana Duarte is among several Colonels crushing the ball at the plate thus far this season. The team has an astounding batting average of .320, led by sophomore second baseman Taylor Newcomb (.409 and 13 RBI), junior catcher Michaela Colleran (.396 and 15 RBI), sophomore catcher Jordan Perzan (.354 and 17 RBI), sophomore infielders Kiana Lloyd and Jocelyn Diamond (.359 & .313, respectively), and junior infielder Caroline Johnson (.308). Duarte’s college career is only 13 games old, yet she’s raking at a .375 clip and has gotten on base in half of her plate appearances.
It’s also worth noting that those are just the players who have 20 or more at-bats this season. Junior third baseman Molly Horn is hitting .421 on 19 at-bats.
While offense has been a relative breeze thus far, the story has been much different in the field. Curry leads the Commonwealth Coast Conference in errors with a whopping 51 in 14 games. In contrast, conference rival Gordon College (also 8-6 overall) has only 19 errors.
“Our outfield, on a scale of 1-10, has played at about a six,” said coach Bruce Weckworth. “I think we can do better.”
Lloyd and Newcomb currently lead the conference in errors with 12 and 10, respectively. When asked about the two, Weckworth noted, “How do you keep them off the field? But how do you keep them on the field,” given their hitting abilities?
Pitching is another area of challenge for this year’s Colonels squad. Curry’s pitchers have a conference-low average of only 3.38 strikeouts per seven innings, but Weckworth said he remains confident in his staff, especially Mount Ida transfer Carrigan Costello, a sophomore, who has thrown a team-leading 42.2 innings thus far for a 3-3 record.
“We don’t have a pure strikeout pitcher,” said Weckworth. “What this does is it puts more pressure on the field.”
Ultimately, though, Weckworth believes his squad can turn things around. “I like our chances!” he said.
The Colonels will be a bit short-handed facing off against Suffolk this Thursday, as four sophomores are scheduled to miss the double-header. All four are Nursing majors who have academic commitments that will keep them from the field. Weckworth said that’s always a challenge for Curry women’s sports teams, as Nursing is the largest major at Curry, by enrollment, and it’s also typically the most time-intensive.
With an already young team—Curry features just three juniors and one senior—that just means more of the freshmen will get the chance to step up.