Despite the winter weather that is still impacting Western New York, the St. Bonaventure women’s softball team is approaching the start of its season.
In the meantime, the team is working hard in preseason, with Butler gym as its temporary home.
Senior pitcher Josie Borysevicz described just how the team has been preparing for the upcoming season and some of the things it has done.
“Preseason is off to a really great start,” Borysevicz said. “Our season is a little different this year. We don’t travel until spring break, so we have a couple extra weeks of practice, which is really awesome. We have been doing a lot of work in Butler Gym. We are really working on all parts of the game when we are [there]. This year, we have been doing a little more defensive work and agility. We are there [Butler] five days a week on top of lifting, which we always do.”
Borysevicz is one of three seniors on the team alongside catcher Morgan Phillips and infielder Hailey Blencowe. Borysevicz said this positional versatility within the three seniors allows them to make sure the team is together.
“I think we delegate different things,” Borysevicz said. “[Blencowe] has been all over the field, so she can relate to all the girls in different positions. [Phillips] has been a consistent hitter all four years, so she is really great with the hitters. All I do is pitch, so I work with the pitchers. We reach all our players to make sure everyone is on the same page.
The Bonnies’ record last season was 12-37 and 2-17 in A10 conference play. Head coach Mike Threehouse admits the Bonnies must improve in a lot of areas if they want to be successful this season.
“To be honest, we have to improve in every area,” Threehouse said. “We have to pitch better, play better defense and score more runs; we haven’t scored runs in a few years. Offense is something we are really stressing this year, especially in key situations.”
Junior outfielder Nicole Antonacci and sophomore second baseman McKenna Holtz both discussed what the team are doing to improve in these areas.
Antonacci mentioned how the team is trying to be more aggressive at bat and changing aspects in its mentality and technique.
“Our on-base percentages were not as high as they could have been, so we are really trying to reframe our approaches,” Antonacci said. “Things like hitting the other way and generating more hip rotation when we swing are just two example of the techniques that we have been working at.”
Holtz, now in her second season with the Bonnies, also talked about some of the changes that come with having a year of experience.
“It is definitely a lot different coming in as a freshman versus a sophomore,” Holtz said. “You know the team. You know the coaches. You just kind of have more confidence. Coming in last year, my coach really worked with me to improve my hitting.”
When winter eventually turns to spring, Bonnies fans will have more to be excited about than just the play on the field.
Joyce Field is undergoing renovations, adding a new press box, a new sound system and more seating for fans.
“It is good for the overall atmosphere,” Threehouse said.
Despite an underwhelming last season, personal and collective hopes and expectations are high for this season.
Antonacci and Holtz both feel the team is good enough to make it to the Atlantic 10 tournament in May.
“I have a really good feeling about this spring,” Antonacci said. “Although we really try to trust the process and take it one week at a time, we are all hoping to make the A10 championship this year.”
Antonacci also has some personal goals she would like to achieve this year.
“Whether it’s diving for a ball in the outfield, laying down a bunt when I need to, or carrying a bucket back to the storage closet after practice, my number-one goal is to always just do everything that I can for my teammates, on and off the field,” Antonacci said.
As a senior, Borysevicz has a lot to strive for playing her final season in the Brown and White.
“For me, personally, it is my last year and I want to go out with a bang,” Borysevicz said. “I want to go out there and shut hitters down. For me, it is about pushing myself because this is the last time I get to do it.”
The Bonnies’ first game is on Feb. 23 against the University of Hartford in Charleston, South Carolina. The first game at Joyce Field is on March 28 against Canisius College.