Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Softball | GU Set for 12-Game Week

Bus rides can often function as a bonding experience for a group of teammates. No team knows that as well as the Georgetown softball team (6-5).

Due to inclement weather, Georgetown was forced to cover the distance between D.C. and Florida twice within the span of a week. The team made an unexpected bus trip back from the Citrus Classic in Orlando, Fla., Sunday before making the same drive again Wednesday, this time arriving in Tampa, Fla., for the Under Armour Showcase.

In both cases, snowstorms disrupted the team’s travel plans. This past Sunday evening, the team’s flight was cancelled due to the snow in D.C., and Wednesday, the team decided to drive to Florida a day early rather than risk a flight cancellation due to a snowstorm on Thursday.

Nevertheless, the team still relishes the opportunity to play games in the friendly climate of Florida, and it takes the long road trips as a chance to bond as a team.

“Anytime we’re on the road, whether it’s a weekend or seven days down in Florida, I think it’s a huge opportunity for different people to get to know each other,” Head Coach Pat Conlan said.

This year, the team has a roster of only 13 players, which limits the team’s depth, but it also contributes to a close-knit atmosphere that is conducive to long road trips.

“I feel like we’re closer as a group, especially because we’re smaller in numbers. The team chemistry is awesome this year,” senior pitcher Megan Hyson said.

In the Under Armour showcase, the team will face off against Robert Morris (7-6), Southern Illinois (10-4), Western Michigan (1-5), Wagner (2-2) and Maine (4-6) over the three-day span from Friday to Sunday. The team will then play two games Wednesday against Lehigh (3-1) and South Florida (11-7) before travelling north to play in the Cherry Blossom Classic in Fairfax, Va., from Mar. 13 to 15, where they will play five more games: two against Wagner and Akron (6-7) and one against George Mason (0-9).

All of this adds up to a demanding 12-game schedule over spring break, particularly when factoring in the long-distance travel.

However, the team’s players will be aided by their weeklong break from academics, which simplifies their agenda and allows them to focus solely on softball.

“To be able to play where it’s warm and sunny, without the stress of school, for a week will be so much fun and much-needed,” senior right fielder Sophia Gargicevich-Almeida said.

Conlan echoed Gargicevich-Almeida’s sentiment.

“The fact that they are not worried about missing classes and studying for exams and things like that, it certainly takes a load off their shoulders. They can concentrate on playing softball in warm weather, and that’s something that we don’t get to do that often,” Conlan said.

Hyson, who is off to a blistering start on the mound, will lead the Hoyas through their jam-packed week. She leads Big East pitchers with five wins, 50 strikeouts and 39 2/3 innings pitched, ranks second in the conference with a 1.06 ERA and also functions as one of the team’s best hitters. Even coming off a standout junior season, Hyson worked hard in the offseason to improve her game.

“Me and my coach, we worked on getting ahead in the count, because I think that’s huge. Getting the leadoff batter out, also, was an issue last year, so I think those are two of the improvements that I’ve made,” Hyson said.

Hyson has been supported by an offense that boasts several much-improved players, including Gargicevich-Almeida. After receiving sporadic playing time during her junior season, Gargicevich-Almeida has seized a starting spot this season with consistent offensive production. She has already exceeded her totals from last year in hits and RBIs, and she leads Georgetown with three home runs, the first three of her career.

“I think it’s just her time. She’s worked really hard, and she’s been given an opportunity, and she doesn’t want to give it up. … She’s embracing her senior year and she’s going to get as much out of softball as it will possibly give her, so it’s really fun to see her perform right now,” Conlan said of Gargicevich-Almeida.

Gargicevich-Almeida attributes her improvement to her improved mentality at the plate.

“To be honest, I really have focused on my mental game. This sport is 90 percent mental, 10 percent physical. I have learned to let go of trying to control outcomes and have used that energy to control my attitude and my effort,” Gargicevich-Almeida said.

Eight of the Hoyas’ 20 games this season have been cancelled due to inclement weather, but they hope to find better conditions in Tampa and Fairfax over the next week. The team’s first game of the Under Armour Classic against Robert Morris will start today at 1:45 p.m.

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