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SMC Softball: Belles to begin season with Florida tourney

Kaite Heit | Thursday, March 10, 2011

With Belles coach Erin Sullivan leading the way, the team is ready to begin its season with a Spring Break tournament in Fort Myers, Fla.

Since becoming head coach at Saint Mary’s, Sullivan has helped her teams clinch five consecutive seasons with 20 or more wins.

But she won’t let it go to her head.

“I’m just making sure to focus on the small successes we have and not worry about anyone else,” Sullivan said. “We cannot control what our opponents do … we only control what we do.”

With 10 games scheduled through five days of the break, the team will face a range of opponents.

“I’m not worried about any team in particular,” Sullivan said. “These games are all important to us as they give great feedback on how prepared we are at this stage of our season.”

Junior Kate Mitchell said she is eager to start the season.

“The good thing about our tournament in Florida is that we don’t really know much about our opponents,” Mitchell said, “It’s beneficial because we learn to make adjustments within the moment.”

Senior captain Hayley Bojorquez said her team’s ability to make last-minute adjustments against the opponents would be crucial to the team’s success this season.

“I think our biggest problem is we fall short,” Bojorquez said. “We wait a little too long to make key adjustments. Every time we play in our season, we play double headers. In the past we have struggled to make adjustments right away and instead wait until the second time around to get it right.”

Bojorquez said the inability to make adjustments in prior seasons has had a dramatic affect on the team’s results in conference play.

“I think that has been a huge factor in why we have not been able to win our conference, which is our ultimate team goal,” Bojorquez said. “We don’t fix what needs to be fixed early on so it hurts us in the end. This year we are looking to improve on that.”

No matter what happens next week, Sullivan said she would be satisfied if her team performs at the highest level it can.

“The best thing about our sport is you always have a chance to come back,” Sullivan said. “That will to win and succeed is what will determine our success.  Success for us isn’t about winning every game, it’s about playing the best we can play and being a team throughout the highs and lows.”

The Belles open their season Sunday against SUNY Brockport at 9 a.m.