After the Elon University softball team returned from the Citrus Classic in Orlando, Florida, it went nine days without playing a game because of inclement weather.
This length of time in the middle of the season with no games or consistent practice regiment can often get the better of a team and cause it to crumble, especially since softball relies on repetition and constantly practicing different skills.
“The team loves to play games,” said junior infielder Emily Cameron. “It’s why we’re here. We live for the competition, so when we do come together, we don’t skip a beat and we are ready.”
Although the team had to cancel five games in the past two weeks, players have proven on the field they didn’t get rusty.
This past week, the team took advantage of the favorable weather. The Phoenix rescheduled a game against Campbell University March 3 and played the Elon Opening Tournament March 6-8.
These made up for most of the rescheduled games, and the team showed promise.
In its past 10 games, the Phoenix has won nine, four of which were shutouts.
“The big thing about this group is they’re going to work hard against anybody,” said head coach Kathy Bocock. “This group wants to win. They’re competitive and they’re going to do all it takes.”
Of the 26 games that remain, exactly half of those will be home games at Hunt Softball Park. While the team clearly thrives when playing at home, having lost only one contest there, the unpredictable weather is a nuisance when heading into conference play.
Elon has not even begun play in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) — these games often require a degree of traveling, as far as New York, and rescheduling these games is not easy.
Even so, the players are focusing on staying game ready instead of worrying about weather.
“I have been taking practice as if I was in a game situation,” said freshman pitcher Kiandra Mitchum. “I’ve been thinking about what pitches I would throw to get the job done and focus on the results I want to get.”
The Phoenix currently sits at 12-5 on the year with five more games until its first CAA matchup at the College of Charleston March 21. Until then, the Phoenix looks to its next contest as it travels to Charlotte to challenge the University of North Carolina at Charlotte March 11.