The Georgetown softball team (1-2) will compete this weekend in Jacksonville, Fla., playing five games over three days. The team will take on Penn State (1-4) and Pittsburgh (4-1) on Friday, followed by another matchup against Pittsburgh and one against Radford on Sunday. The Hoyas will end the weekend’s play with a game against their hosts, the Jacksonville Dolphins (3-3) on Monday.
“Overall, I thought our energy was good, and I really liked our presence offensively and defensively,” Head Coach Pat Conlan said of the team’s first tournament. “I thought for our first weekend out it was a really solid start. … I really liked our energy, and I liked our presence, and I think that those two things are going to take us a long way this year.”
Conlan said she hopes that the team will combine this energy with a strong week of practice to notch more victories during this weekend’s five games. While the Hoyas were strong on offense, they gave up a total of 20 runs in three games — a total they would like to see cut at the upcoming tournament.
With a team plagued by injuries and an active roster of only 13 players, Conlan has been trying to keep the practices in order to prepare for the demands of a five-game streak. One of the team’s main priorities at this point is ensuring that the current active players avoid injuries similar to the ones some of their teammates have experienced.
“We definitely just work to prevent injuries with a small roster, and I think five games back to back is definitely tolling on your body, so [it’s] really good we have an awesome trainer that works on that,” sophomore outfielder Theresa Kane said.
In order to prepare most effectively, Conlan has tried to get players into live action situations that mirror the competition they will be facing this weekend.
“We hit quite a bit today and we put our pitchers in a situation where they were throwing live to our hitters, and in return our hitters get to see live pitching, so it’s a win-win for both the offense and the pitching staff, so that was definitely a plus,” Conlan said.
While the recent weather in Washington, D.C., has impeded practice schedules, Conlan hopes that getting her team out on Florida dirt for a few pre-tournament practices will help in preparing for game time. The team’s only experience on dirt so far this season was at its tournament last weekend in Charleston, S.C.
For the 13 Hoyas available to step onto the Jacksonville fields this weekend, a five-game stretch may be daunting. Nonetheless, Conlan believes that the team can rise to the occasion.
“We’ve been talking all year about [how] this is who we have, this is who we are, and it’s kind of like all hands on deck. We have our core lineup that we’ll continue to go to and then have to make some adjustments through the lineup,” Conlan said. “We need players to be the best possible version of themselves.”
The Hoyas have yet to face any conference opponents, and this tournament is an important opportunity to foreshadow how Georgetown might fare in these upcoming Big East games.
“Our goal this year is to make it to the Big East Tournament and making a name for ourselves in the Big East, and I think coming through with a few wins this weekend would get us ready for what we are going to face in conference,” Kane said.
A win, or multiple wins, in this weekend’s tournament would be an inspiration to the team. Being only the 11th team in program history leaves room for this group to create a legacy for the program and build on the accomplishments it has already made.
“It would be a confidence boost and definitely bring us in with a stronger idea of how our team is going to work together,” Kane said.
The first game of the weekend is set to begin Friday at 9 a.m. in Jacksonville, Fla.