New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

NYU softball gears up for a promising season

The Violets are working on integrating the team’s new first-years and building team unity.
(Courtesy photo by Pamela Cowart-Rickman)

NYU softball has returned to action for the 2024 season, with a current record of 5-9. After ending last year with a 19-19 record, the Violets are looking to improve this year by strengthening the team — both on and off the field.

The team started the 2024 season on March 1, splitting its doubleheader against Stevens Institute of Technology. Despite the next four games being canceled or postponed due to weather conditions, the Violet still had to prepare for a 12-game stint over spring break.

Head Coach Now-Allah James focused on team building leading up to their spring break run.

“We just continue to get in there and get the work in,” James said. “The girls have done an exceptional job this year with work ethic, team culture, keeping themselves going and keeping the spirits up.”

The softball team recruited eight first-years this year after losing six players — three of whom because they graduated — and James is actively working on integrating them into the existing team.

“We focus mostly on our fundamentals and getting to know each other,” he said. “When you bring in that many freshmen, the biggest key is them getting to know each other, getting comfortable with each other and building that trust.”

First-year Karleigh Kluever is the team’s leading pitcher, sporting a 2.35 earned run average. Kluever credits her success to “having wonderful teammates who are great people all around.”

“Being with such a strong group of women has made me a better player and person individually,  and it has allowed our team dynamic to be super positive,” Kluever said.

NYU softball has a leadership team rather than a captain system, and senior Emily Stone says the senior class is focused on being role models for the younger girls.

“Moving to a new city is already overwhelming, so I try to be someone my teammates can go to or rely on when they need help,” said Stone. “[The first-years] have a lot of potential, so I’m excited to see how they develop as players and help this program grow.”

The team went 4-8 over spring break, seeing wins against King’s College, Gallaudet University and Washington College.

“There’s a lot of obstacles our team has to face due to being an outdoor sport with no home field and constant schedule changes,” said Stone. “Even the simplest things, like getting to practice every day, can sometimes be a challenge.”

With the lack of a home field, NYU softball has to work harder to stay competitive in the league. The team goes to Staten Island for home games, making it more difficult for students to show their support for the players.

The Violets get to use the new Branca Family Baseball Facility built this year in Palladium Athletic Facility, so they hope for more open hours unimpeded by the weather.

The team plays Washington University in St. Louis on April 5, 6 and 7 at Columbia University.

Contact Sidney Snider at [email protected].

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