Softball Looks Ahead to MAAC Tourney

By Ariel Pacheco, Staff Writer

As the softball season nears its end, the team hopes to carry its strong showing throughout the season into the MAAC tournament.

To this point, the team has an overall record of 24-12 with an 8-2 record in conference play. That puts the Jaspers in first place in the MAAC conference.

“We’re doing a great job, we’re getting better each game,” said Briana Matazinsky, a junior who has both pitched and played infield for the team this season. “Every person is contributing, all twenty of us have in some way or another and we’re gelling really well.”

That’s been the key to the team’s success this season. Contributions from all over the field have led to wins whether that be from the offense, defense, or the pitching.

“We have solid defense, great pitching, and timely hitting,” said Jenn Vazquez, a senior who’s played both catcher and first base. “Every game is not the same story. It’s good that we’ve had success from all different perspectives.”

Even with the success the team has had up to this point, they have remained motivated and have avoided becoming complacent. There is a team-wide mindset that they can continue to win if they take everything one game at a time and continue to focus on what they can accomplish as a team.

“Our mentality is in the way we play,” head coach Tom Pardalis said. “If we take care of our business we’ll win.” Coach Pardalis is now in his eighth season as head coach.

Assistant Coach Cat Clifford shares the same view. “We do us. We don’t worry about other people, we worry about us and what we do.”

Expectations before the season within the team were high. There is a nice mix of players who returned with new ones. Still, the expectations have not affected them on the field and they don’t plan on letting it.

“We always want to make it into the MAAC tournament and host it and think we’re on our way to doing that,” said Briana Matazinsky. If they are able to hold on to first place in the MAAC conference, Manhattan College will be the host of the tournament.

The atmosphere around the team has been a positive one. It’s a team first mentality that has made the season not only a successful one, but an enjoyable one as well.

“The players are great, they’re the best,” Clifford said. “They love being here which makes our job easy because we love being with them.”

Senior Day is on Apr. 22 and the three seniors on the team: Jenn Vazquez, Stephanie Reinhardt, and Danielle Gabriel, will be honored by the Jaspers in between the day’s scheduled doubleheader. Their entire careers at Manhattan will culminate into a celebration that will thank them for what they’ve done for the team and community.

“I’m going to enjoy it to the fullest,” said Jenn Vazquez. “It’s been an amazing time.”

The season has had a lot of great moments like Jaspers heading down to Florida to compete in a tournament that helped to prepare them for conference play. The competition helped to catapult the team into it’s current success. The season also saw the first no-hitter in Manhattan College softball program history by freshman Nicole Williams against Saint Peter’s.

With just a few weeks left before the end of the season, the team hopes to continue to win and carry the momentum of the season into the MAAC tournament and possibly a MAAC championship.