DOVER, Del. - After setting a new program record with 23 wins in the 2015 campaign the Wesley College Softball team refuses to rest on its laurels, and goes into the 2016 campaign with the idea that every win must be earned, not given.
"Last year is last year," said fifth-year Head Coach Juli Greep. "It was great. It was fun, but we have more to accomplish this year."
The Wolverines have their eyes locked on to a Capital Athletic Conference postseason berth, something that the team has not achieved since joining the conference. "Our CAC record is most important and we have set ourselves up for success this season," said Greep.
Wesley has put together a tough non-conference schedule, including a trip down to Florida for The Spring Games, a highly touted tournament featuring several top teams from the region. "Even if our record isn't as good in the wins and losses columns," Greep said, "If we're a stronger team at the end of the year and make the postseason, that's the ultimate success."
The Wolverines return a large nucleus from last season's record-setting squad, including five of their top seven bats and their top two arms. Nina Marcano, Breanna Hartman, Morgan Seymour, Lauren Hoffman and Kayla Fromal all return to a lineup that hit a combined .343 last season, the top mark in the CAC in 2015. The team also brings back significant depth with Devin MacKay and Casey Beall.
"Those five have been and continue to be consistent, well-rounded hitters and leaders," said Greep, "Devin pinch-hit a lot for us last year and never had a chance to settle in, but still hit close to .300 and Casey is an extremely hard worker who puts everything she has into this team."
Joining the Wesley bats this year are freshmen Megan DiRubbio, Kateri Peters and Ashley Royer, and transfer Samantha Burns. "Our newcomers are fitting in really well. There hasn't been that adjustment period that you see sometimes," said the head coach. "They've stepped right into this team and are looking solid."
In the circle, Lindsay Siok and Lily Engel combined to throw 184.2 innings of Wesley's 216.1 innings played combining for a 3.49 ERA over the course of the season. The dual threat from last season will be joined this year by freshman Sydney Botsch and sophomore Destiny Davis. "[Engel, Siok, and Botsch] have looked good so far this preseason. All of them are throwing well," said Greep, "And once we get back Destiny from her injury, she will add some serious depth in late-inning situations."
Wesley opens the season with a pair of doubleheaders against Albright and Swarthmore on February 27 and 28 before heading south to Florida for the Spring Games where they face several top opponents. The Wolverines' conference schedule opens with a twinbill against Mary Washington on March 26. CAC opponents Salisbury (No. 2) and Christopher Newport (No. 12) were ranked in the National Fastpitch Coaches' Association preseason poll top 15. Wesley hosts Salisbury on April 13 and travels to CNU on April 16.