The Georgetown University softball team hopes to build off its 2022 season this year, its first full season after pandemic-related shutdowns, with veteran leadership and six new players.
The Hoyas’ 2022 season, in which they finished with a 15-28 overall record, including 5-14 in the Big East, was one characterized by gratitude to play a full season again and the need to incorporate new faces on the team.
“We were really excited to be back,” Captain Mae Forshey, graduate infielder and catcher, told The Hoya. “One of the big things we really pushed was just being grateful to being able to play, being back on the field, playing the game we loved. It also had an element of surprise because no one had seen us in almost two years, and we had a bunch of grad transfers that helped the program as well.”
Georgetown hopes to reach new heights this season after struggling to live up to high expectations in recent years.
“We’ve taken last year very much into this year in terms of building off of what happened last year,” Captain Cameron Kondo, graduate outfielder, told The Hoya in an interview. “We’re excited for this year, we feel prepared to go do those things this year.”
In an unfortunate blow, the Hoyas lost five starters this year, all of whom have graduated.
The Hoyas recently lost pitcher Cassie Henning (MSB ’22), who had 11 runs and 23 hits last year. Georgetown also lost infielder Kiki Besnard (SFS ’22), who notched 7 runs and 13 hits.
Additionally, catcher and first baseman Abby Smith (GRD ’22), The Hoyas’ leader in batting average and slugging percentage, graduated last year along with infielder Savannah Jones (GRD ’22), who recorded 32 runs and 39 hits.
Catcher and outfielder Alyssa Chavez (GRD ’22) followed suit, who finished the 2022 season with 24 runs and 39 hits. Catcher and first baseman Nora Campo (CAS ’22) also graduated, but pitcher Jordan Tallman transferred to George Mason University.
Fortunately for the Hoyas, the team brought in six new players to replace their departing graduates.
Graduate shortstop and second baseman Morgan Zamora comes from UC Berkeley, where she played in 13 games her senior year and contributed to their winning season.
Decorated graduate pitcher Brooke Plonka also looks to strengthen the Hoyas’ pitching corps after a standout career at Dartmouth. Plonka comes in with a stacked resume after starting and captaining the Big Green for three years, earning Ivy League Pitcher of the Week twice and becoming the first pitcher in Dartmouth history to throw multiple no-hitters.
While the graduate transfers figure to make an immediate impact, Georgetown’s four first-year players, including infielder Kacy Lyman, outfielders Claire Turner and Gabby Park and first/third baseman Dayanara Campos, aim to be long-term contributors. With five starters leaving, these first-years will have ample opportunities to step up and help forge a winning culture.
The Hoyas will kick off their season Feb. 10 in Jacksonville, Fla. at the River City Leadoff. They will play Furman, Jacksonville and the University of North Florida in a three-day tournament and hope to continue their winning streak against Furman, which they swept in last year’s series.
Georgetown will follow up by traveling to Norfolk, Va. on Feb. 17 for the Hampton/Norfolk State Tournament. There, The Hoyas will face off against Lehigh, Quinnipiac, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Norfolk State and Bucknell.
The Hoyas will then travel to Wilmington, N.C. on Feb. 24 for the UNCW Tournament, playing Appalachian State, Eastern Kentucky and UNC Wilmington. On March 3, they return back to Florida for The Spring Games, where they will play Southeastern Louisiana University, Central Michigan University, Middle Tennessee, UAlbany and Holy Cross.
Georgetown will open Big East play on March 10 as the Hoyas match up in a three-game series against rival and defending Big East champions Villanova. The matchup will also be Georgetown’s home opener at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy. Georgetown is looking for redemption against the Wildcats, who swept the Hoyas last campaign, before facing up against Hampton University, Seton Hall, UConn and George Washington.
Finally, the Hoyas will play Arizona and the University of San Diego at the University of Arizona Tournament before returning to regular season play. The Hoyas will finish off the season with games against Providence, Coppin State, Creighton, Towson, St. John’s, George Mason, Butler and DePaul.
Georgetown ultimately hopes to reach the postseason and compete at the Big East Tournament for the first time since 2014.
“We are hoping to have an over .500 season and make it to the Big East Tournament,” Kondo said. “Going onto actual fielding and those types of things, it’s about getting all of our pieces working together at the right time.”