The Rowan University softball team got their season underway last week in North Carolina, winning three out of their four games. The Profs will play 18 games until they begin conference play on March 30 at Montclair State. This includes a trip to Florida in two weeks where they will play 12 games before returning to Glassboro.
As for the first four games so far, head coach Kim Wilson is happy with how her team prepared for and has started the season.
“We are progressing nicely,” Wilson said. “The transition for the younger players has started very quickly. They are learning from the upperclassmen. These first few games over the weekend showed that there are some things we need to work on, but overall, the start has been really good.”
Wilson is in her 22nd season as head coach with an astounding .747 win percentage. She got her 700th win as Rowan head coach over the weekend in North Carolina versus Randolph College. Six of her teams have won the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and 15 of her teams have been to the NCAA Tournament. In 2015, Wilson’s team won the NJAC, the NCAA Cortland Regional and Ithaca Super Regional. They won 42 games, a school record.
Last season, Rowan went 33-11 and reached the championship game of the NCAA Babson Park Regional. The team’s catalyst was now-senior outfielder Morgan Smith. Smith led the Profs last year in batting average, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI’s, total bases, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and walks. She led the NJAC in RBI’s, doubles, total bases and walks. Her 22 doubles last season is a school record.
“It is crazy to think even with the numbers she has that there is room for her to grow,” Wilson said. “She is very selfless player. She came in as a catcher and now plays right field for us and a DP. She is like a coach on the field for us. She has a hitter’s mentality. She approaches every at bat with a clean slate knowing exactly what she’s going to do and she passes that on throughout the whole team. There is room for growth though despite how scary that sounds.”
Senior catcher Nicole Paiotti and junior shortstop Carly Anderson are upperclassmen who Wilson is also very excited about.
“Nicole is a dominant hitter that can take over a game,” Wilson said. “And Carly, who was NJAC Rookie of the Year when she was a freshman, had a great weekend down in North Carolina where she hit two home runs. She plays great defense and is an outstanding leader for us.”
Wilson is also looking forward to seeing the sophomore pitcher duo of Jesse DeDomenico and Lauren Shannon.
With a tremendous coaching record and a program that has been dominant, comes a big expectation every year.
“We want to compete every day,” Wilson said. “I like to say that we don’t rebuild, we reload.”
The brown and gold’s next action comes this Saturday in Pennsylvania where they will face Haverford College in a double-header.
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