West Windsor, N.J. - After fielding a freshman-heavy team in the spring, Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) softball team is returning to the field a little more experienced for its Fall 2019 practice season.
Before the start of the Spring 2019 season, Softball Head Coach Ryan Zegarski said that the coaches called on some of the incoming freshman to become leaders. “Many of them really stepped up throughout the season,” Zegarski recalled.
Infielder Paige Metz was quickly identified as one of the team’s powerhouses. Through Mercer’s 46-game regular season, she batted a team high .434 while leading the team in assists (75). Pitcher Heather Clevenger also helped push the team forward. She pitched 221 of the team’s 285 total innings and set a Mercer record for most innings pitched in a single season.
“By now, those freshman jitters should be gone,” Zegarski said, adding that the players' improved trust amongst themselves will also support a deeper post-season run in 2020. This past season, Mercer dropped the first two games in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 19 playoffs, leaving the Lady Vikings out at fourth place.
The Lady Vikings open the practice season against Rowan at Gloucester (Saturday, Sept. 14), Brookdale (Saturday, Sept. 28) and Morris (Saturday, Sept. 28). Also scheduled are contests against National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II teams, including Georgian Court University (Sunday, Sept. 29), Chestnut Hill College (Saturday, Oct. 12) and Bloomfield College (Sunday, Oct. 13).