by Suzanne Jackson
The Roanoke College softball team has started off their season with a bang in Florida for their annual spring break trip. The Maroons played six games over the break in Florida. One the first day, the Maroons played against Simmons and Concordia Chicago. The Maroons were able to go 8-3 against Simmons and then 4-1 against Concordia Chicago, allowing for the Maroons to sweep their first two games of the season. On the second day, the Maroons swept two teams once again. The Maroons beat Itasca in a 3-1 victory and then beat the Cyclones of St. Cloud Technical & Community College in a 10-2 victory. On the third day, the Maroons beat Mount Mary 12-1 and Wentworth 2-0. The two losses faced by the team included a loss of 1-6 against Otterbein and a 1-2 loss against Marietta.
Typically, the Maroons’ home field is the Moyer Sports Complex in Salem but since the complex is undergoing renovations, the Maroons are playing at the Botetourt Sports Complex this season. The Maroons went 30-14 last season and played in the NCAA DIII Championship regional game against The College of New Jersey. Some might think that this change in venue could put Maroons at a disadvantage, but one player is saying otherwise.
“We are coming off a year being known as a regional team which can cause a lot of pressure to live up to high expectations, but we know that a lot of teams will be coming at us with their best, but I have full confidence in this group to do nothing less than embrace this challenge head on as we face the competition ahead,” said senior first base player Jordyn DiFava. “We have worked so hard in the off season and have had an exciting start in Florida which has given us a solid foundation to build off of moving forward.” When asked about the talent on this year’s team, DiFava shared that, “Having such a talented team has created a very competitive environment as we are all constantly pushing each other to give our best in all we do. It is very exciting to be playing with such a special group of women with so many gifts and talents.”
Among the roster of talented players is senior pitcher Jada Karnes, who was recently named ODAC Player of the Week. Karnes pitched two complete games to start the spring break trip. Also during the trip, Karnes’ accomplishments include: limiting Concordia Chicago to one run and striking out eleven batters, a shutout over Wentworth with six strikeouts, and striking out five batters over eight innings and allowing just one unearned run against Marietta.
The Maroons will be traveling to Raleigh, NC to play a double-header against William Peace University on Sunday, March 19. The team’s first home games of the season will be a double-header against Salisbury on Tuesday, March 21 at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m at the Botetourt Sports Complex.