Surging Lions getting back in the hunt

by Beacon Staff • April 4, 2007

Nicole Battaglia now holds the Emerson record of being the first woman to hit a home run over the fence at Rotch Playground.

The third baseman was able to accomplish this feat last Friday after working the count in her at-bat.,It's going ... going ... and it's gone, off into the record books.

Nicole Battaglia now holds the Emerson record of being the first woman to hit a home run over the fence at Rotch Playground.

The third baseman was able to accomplish this feat last Friday after working the count in her at-bat. Battaglia said she was able to pick out a pitch she could work with and bang, the ball left the park.

"[The pitcher] finally messed up and gave me something good to hit," Battaglia said. "[And] the greatest part was that my family was there."

Battaglia first was not sure where the ball was going to land, so she continued to round first base. "But when I heard the team shrieking, I knew it was over the fence," she said.

"The way I could tell it was going to be a good hit was when I looked up I saw the ball smaller than what I usually see when I look up at that time," Battaglia said. "The ball was going so much faster than what it usually does."

New to the college sports scene, the freshman says she looks to win games for two groups of people. One, for her senior teammates because of the love and respect she receives from them. And two, for her fellow freshman teammates.

"I am honored to be in the same class of such talented girls," Battaglia said. "I want us to build up our reputation. Each year that passes, I want others to be more and more afraid of us."

With her home run, Battaglia sent home teammates Jennifer Boyden and Katie Hartman to add to the final score of the Lions' double header sweep against Simmons College 9-6 and 11-6.

The ladies also swept their doubleheader against Albertus Mangus College on Sunday 9-0 and 4-0, but on Saturday, after battling with Western New England College (WNEC), the best team in the conference for years, the Lions lost 4-1 and 11-3.

However, Battaglia and senior Co-Captain Jennifer Boyden said they feel confident they will prevent WNEC from winning the conference for the fifth year in a row.

This is the year, more than any other the Lions want to win the title because it is WNEC's last season playing in the GNAC. "We don't want them to take the conference title on their way out," said Boyden.

Battaglia knows what they need to do to win the conference.

"We have to play them not as esteemed as they are," she said. "We need to look at them as a regular team."

Coach Phil McElroy said Boyden has been the most consistent hitter on the team. The catcher went seven for 20 last weekend.

Boyden said she listens to McElroy's advice not to be "swinging for fences."

Boyden concentrates on hitting for contact rather than power.

Boyden is confident that any combination of her 20 teammates will come through at the plate. "The big part of being a consistent hitter is you know there are eight other kids who can pick me up if I don't," she said.

The team has come a long way since they left Florida with a record of 2-8. After this weekend, the Lions are 9-11 overall and 7-3 in GNAC conference games.

"We have all become consistently clutch to the point we don't need anyone to be the clutch," Battaglia said.