When the nine women on the GW softball team take the field Feb. 22 against Norfolk State, it won’t just be the first regular season game of the year, it will be their first time the squad plays a Division I varsity game.
Head Coach Leslie King Moore, a silver medallist in the 1990 World Softball championships with New Zealand, will lead a squad that formed from GW’s club program.
Former club players make up about a third of the team, including sophomore Jaclyn Sanders and the team’s three seniors, Alison Scimeca, Edna Coonan and co-captain Samantha Sordi.
Augmenting the club players is a host of walk-ons and one recruit, GW’s first ever for softball, Elana Meyers. Meyers, a Georgia native, is a talented freshman who received all-state honors at shortstop for her high school squad. Meyers, voted co-captain in her first year, will also share pitching duties with former club pitcher Sanders.
Moore said she is pleased with the way her different groups of players have come together in such a short time.
“I think this team has meshed very well,” she said. “It is a very interesting group. It has been difficult pacing the team because we have different levels of abilities and knowledge going into this season.”
Senior co-captain Sordi agreed with her coach’s assessment, calling the team “one big family.”
The trio of seniors will lead this young and inexperienced squad in their first season with the focus of building a strong foundation on which to grow while remaining competitive – a task that, Moore said, will not be an easy one.
“I will go into this season with trepidation,” she said. “I think we have set as a squad some pretty realistic goals, which don’t really include our win-loss record.”
While Moore said wins and losses will come second to how her team grows, she said she has been pleased with her players’ performances thus far.
“If you talk about commitment these guys have just been awesome,” she said. “We have some good solid athletes who are going to do well for us this season.”
Moore pointed to freshman Rebecca Schumer, a former Colonial soccer player, and sophomore Jennifer Lawrence, as players who have surprised her with their skill at spring tryouts.
“(Lawrence) is really going to help us, she can pitch, she can hit and she has been a really pleasant surprise,” she said.
Moore and assistant coach Keri Kubala are already building for the 2004 season, signing Ashley Horner out of Pennsylvania and Gabby Culp from Dallas over winter break.
The Colonials have already played their exhibition season this fall finishing with a 3-1 record. The Colonials first regular season game will take place Feb. 22 at Mount Vernon’s new softball field.
Further down the road, the Colonials will face tough competition from their Atlantic 10 conference including No. 25 Massachusetts as well as tough local competitors Maryland, James Madison and Towson universities.
Moore predicted her team could win as many as six games this season, but said the wins and losses are not her team’s main focus.
“This team is about setting standards in not just how we play but how we conduct ourselves as student athletes and members of the GW community,” she said. “I want to get this program off to a good start and I’ve spoken to the team about acting with class on and off the field.”