Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Softball Grapples with Player Shortage

<itement of spring season competition approaching, the Carleton softball team has already been confronted with their first challenge. In a sport that requires nine players to field a team, this year’s softball roster only holds eleven players. Despite the fact that these nine can compete for the entirety of a game, a shortened roster does not provide a comfortable amount of depth, particularly where injuries can prove to be quite costly. However, a smaller roster provides limited flexibility, it will give the players the opportunity to face unfamiliar challenges and demonstrate their athletic versatility.

Head Coach Amy Erickson is confident in her team’s capabilities and is optimistic for the upcoming season. While she acknowledges the difficulty of the current roster size, she sees little reason in having herself or the team dwell on this disparity. The team is already discussing various strategies and potential positional alterations. Above all, coach Erickson expressed it is “most important to just be focused on being a great team with who is there, not who isn’t there.”

A combination of factors contributed to the smaller roster. It was a recruiting year in which fewer players were brought in than originally anticipated, including a recruit who decided to take a gap year. There were players who had unfortunately sustained career ending injuries, as well as players who decided to leave for personal reasons. The team hopes to expand its roster.

“We are open to walk-ons that would be interested in joining our team before or near the beginning of the season,” Coach Erickson said.
At the moment, however, the players are practicing hard and focusing on becoming the strongest possible team they can be. Coach Erickson says that “control the controllables” is the common team mantra at the moment. The players are currently pushing themselves physically and mentally so they can “hit the ground running” from the very start of the regular season.

Mo McConnell, one of the only two first years on this year’s team, is excited and ready to contribute on the field. While it can be an intimidating situation to be in as a first-year, McConnell says that she “feels the pressure to step up, but is also invigorated by the opportunity.” She is motivated by this challenge and will continue to work hard during the offseason in the hope of being instrumental in a successful season for the team. Having only two subs is an unsettling feeling, but McConnell expressed that the team is a cohesive unit and the players will support one another in the face of any challenge.

Considering the limited roster, injury prevention and keeping each player in good health will be especially important for this year’s team. Ultimately, every team will have to face obstacles for the duration of a season; that’s just the nature of sport. While it may be reassuring to have a deep bench, the quality of the players within a team takes precedence over quantity.  As Coach Erickson captured it, “the easy part is that everyone knows they are an integral part of the team!”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *