The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

Softball Has High Hopes for the Upcoming Season


Nick Woodman, Staff Writer

After going 18-16 last season, the Utica College softball team looks improve and return to the postseason.

The Pioneers went on a four-game win streak to end the 2015 regular season. The team has been able to get valuable practices in the Todd and Jen Hutton Sports and Recreation Center since the first week of February, which has proven to be beneficial.

“We all push each other and encourage each other on and off the field. Having the dome this year also gives us an edge,” sophomore Ally Cipollini said. “This year we have been able to practice things we have never been able to before in the gym. I think we are more prepared than ever for Florida and this season”.

The Pioneers have been able to not only get an edge on the field, but off the field as well by building a strong team bond. This helps out and people start to take notice what a talented team they really are.

“From the first practice this season I could tell our team was talented,” Cipollini said. “We have really come together as a team and bonded, which really makes a difference on the field.”

UC will start the 2016 campaign with a trip to Florida during spring break. The team will play ten games down south and hope to start the season on the right page. The Florida trip is important for the team as it will help shape and define what kind of team the Pioneers will be this season.

“Florida prepares us for our regular season by having some actual competition,” sophomore Samantha Sanky said. “Here is where we see what plays work and what plays do not work.”

The Pioneers missed the playoffs last season after making the postseason in 2013 and 2014. However, missing the playoffs has fueled the team to not only get a playoff bid, but also win the Empire 8 Championship.

“I believe we look not only stronger but like a well-oiled machine. Every girl has one common goal, and that’s to win E8s,” Sanky said. “We differ from last year’s team because we now have more pitching and more girls who strive at each position; this will end up helping us be more flexible.”

This year’s team is a young with there being four seniors on the team. It will prove to be beneficial for the Pioneers since it will expose younger players to more experience and playing time.

“Even though we lost some key players everyone is still striving for success for the E8s,” sophomore Madison Williams said. “Last year we only had three seniors and it seemed to work out, but I believe that everyone will have to step up and play their part”.

UC looks to be a dominant force in the Empire 8 this season. However, they need to play well against three conference opponents, St. John Fisher, Ithaca and Alfred, who pose a threat.

“They are always good competition but I know we have a good shot at beating all of them this year,” Cipollini said.

The UC softball team will host its first home game March 23 with a doubleheader against SUNY Poly.

Featured Image; 2016 Utica College softball team. Photo from

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