The Emerson’s softball team has maintained its status as a power-hitting team this year, as the Lions have batters topping the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) in home runs and runs batted in.
Alexandra Wysota is tied for second place in home runs in the GNAC, and ranks tenth in runs batted in. Nikki Delaney is also near the top of the charts, ranking fifth in runs batted in, and fifth in home runs.
Head coach Phil McElroy said Wysota and Delaney have elevated their game this year to help push the team to a more consistent offense.
“Both Alex and Nikki have stepped into some roles that maybe they weren’t prepared for, and they needed to move up further in the lineup than I had anticipated,” McElroy said. “But I have been very happy with both their play.”
Last season, three other Emerson batters led or ranked in the top five of the GNAC in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in. Last year’s team also ended the season with the best record in the GNAC, 24-2, and had an overall record of 32-9.
Wysota, a freshman visual and media arts major and infielder, said the team’s overall offense has drastically improved since the preseason.
“The offense has really spiked since the season began,” Wysota said. “We still swing at some questionable pitches, and I think overall we need to gain some mental confidence at the plate, but we definitely have picked our game up, and will continue to improve throughout the rest of the season.”
Delaney , a sophomore visual and media arts major and an infielder, ranked sixth in the GNAC in home runs last year as a freshman. She declined interview requests for this article.
Annie Jenkins — a sophomore journalism major and an outfielder, and Daleney’s roommate — said the team depends on Delaney’s consistency in a clutch situation.
“Nikki is our silent weapon,” Jenkins said. “She has the widest stance on our team, and hits these high-arching balls that just drift over the fence. She can always give us a hit right when we need it.”
The Lions have an overall record of 3-7, and will play their first GNAC game against Saint Joseph College on March 22.