NYU softball catches fire in second half of season

The Violets have won 12 of their last 14 games.


NYU’s softball team is on a good run so far for the second half of its season. (Courtesy of NYU Athletics)

Malone Lohmann, Staff Writer

As NYU’s softball team slides into the second half of the season, confidence and performance continue to reign. After a 17-20 finish last season, the Violets are off to a hot start around the diamond with a record of 13-5.

Bouncing back after a three-loss skid to start the season, the team went undefeated at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic in March. In an impressive 10-game winning streak, the bats were fired up, and the team totaled 61 runs while only letting up 11. 

Around the mound, pitchers Emily Stone and Marina Egbert have handled the heavy lifting within the Violets’ victories. Currently sitting at 1.22 ERA, Stone has delivered stone-cold pitches to opposing players, with eight strikeouts and an undefeated game record. On top of this, in her five appearances, she only allowed four runs, making it even easier for the bats to heat up. Adding to Stone’s stoic start, the bullpen includes Egbert, a sophomore who has started seven games and boasts a 1.63 ERA. Along with her 27-strikeout count, Egbert pitched a one-run game during the Violets’ streak against the University of Wisconsin-Superior. 

“Our defense, particularly our infield, is absolutely spectacular this year,” Egbert said. “I have so much confidence in my fielders that I don’t feel the need to be perfect all the time and strike everyone out. Usually when I am just pitching I don’t like to talk to anyone in the dugout and just want to focus on defense, but hitting has forced me to think about the game more comprehensively, rather than just about defense.”

With such an inviting culture, the team has relieved a lot of pressure for players in stressful positions, allowing them to think freely and perform exceptionally. 

And the power doesn’t just stop at the mound. The squad has seen immense improvements in its lineup, and it’s certainly showing on the scorecard. The Violets have totaled 86 runs in 18 games, and have seen the bases quite a bit with an exceptional 152 hits. The season has seen a wide variety of scores but has encountered 10-0, 8-0, and 9-1 spreads against various teams on their Florida trip. 

Accompanying this team effort have been some historic individual performances from the team’s talented roster. After many of last year’s leaders graduated, new players entered the scoreboard and are quickly making names for themselves. Newer players like first-year infielder Emma Aridi and transfer infielder Margaux Lesser have had comfortable starts to the season, batting a .339 and .417 AVG respectively. Not only have newcomers shown up — veteran leadership has also been translated through senior Chloe Blanc and junior Madi Hand’s stellar performances. In 47 at-bats, Blanc has totaled a .380 OBP, while Hand leads the team with 13 RBIs in 52 appearances. 

While the whole team has certainly caught fire, one player in particular has consistently produced dominant numbers this season. Sophomore outfielder Sophia Leon has made a statement by leading the team both in runs and in batting average. Leon stood out in the Violets’ game against Alfred State College, where she went 4-4 and produced three hits with two RBIs. Even though she has missed some games, Leon’s performance is strongly backed by a lineup that never takes their feet off the gas.

Looking ahead, the Violets look to replicate their spring break performance. With the University Athletic Association being so competitive, the lineup hopes to maintain a rhythm for each game, and hopefully total similar statistics to the team’s 10-game streak.

“Our conference is the toughest in the country, so being able to find our team identity early on was really important,” Egbert said. “For the rest of the season, we will be relying on our defense, pitching and getting key hits at the right time. We have so much confidence in ourselves and our ability to win.”

Not only is the talent clearly showcased on a daily basis, but the confidence the team constantly plays with is truly special. By establishing a common goal so early, the team’s chemistry has grown exponentially, and they’ve been tough to take down for the first half of the season. 

Entering conference play, the Violets look to improve on an overall 7-10 conference record from last year’s season. In such a competitive section, NYU will face UAA play against teams like Carnegie Mellon University, Brandeis University, Emory University and Case Western Reserve University, in hopes of gaining a playoff bid. 

Contact Malone Lohmann at [email protected]