Setting the Standard
When the softball team defeated Hendrix 8-0 in its last conference home game this year, it was more than just another win for the team.
It was the last home game for the first group of women to play softball at Southwestern. Despite being pioneers in a new sport at Southwestern, these students have done well by all standards – both on and off the field.
Led by head coach Angela Froboese, the team quickly climbed through the ranks to become one of the tougher teams to beat in the 25-member Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). The team won the SCAC West Division twice (in 2009 and 2011) and the whole conference in 2010. This year’s senior class consists of Amanda Ambrose, Lyndsy Maus, Kaitlyn Pavlicek, Taylor Turpin and Lauren Zearfoss.
“These [senior] players set the bar for future teams.” Froboese said.
In addition to the skill sets in softball that they brought to the team, Froboese complimented each of the graduating seniors on their ability to take charge with the younger teammates and show them the ropes of the team and the school. “They were positive role models, not just for the other players, but for the community as well.”
Froboese noted that the team helped with numerous activities in the community, including a breast cancer fundraiser.
Pavlicek, a kinesiology major, said that she felt “accomplished and proud” of the work that she and her classmates have done. “We have had to work through the hardships of being on the inaugural team,” she said. Pavlicek said their accomplishments are all that more impressive because they not only had to keep up with the athletic training but also juggle the academic workload that falls on each student at Southwestern.
Froboese said having her first class of players graduate is both exciting and sad at the same time. “They each have grown and matured during their time here,” she said. After graduation, Maus and Zearfoss plan to attend graduate school, Pavlicek is going to nursing school, Ambrose is going to Army officer training school and Turpin is going to firefighting school.
The softball team honored its first graduating seniors in a short ceremony after the double-header against Hendrix April 1. After the photos were taken and their accomplishments were listed to the audience, the seniors walked off the field in characteristic style with a “1…2…3…PIRATES!”