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William Paterson University's Official Student-Run Newspaper

The Beacon

William Paterson University's Official Student-Run Newspaper

The Beacon

Softball: Pioneers leaning on leadership heading into their season-opening matchup against Drew University


Senior leadership looks to be the recipe for success for Pioneers softball this season, head softball coach Jessica Jacobson said. 


Six seniors will graduate after this season. Williamstown native Haley Weinberger, an infielder, believes their seniority and love for the game and each other will play a great role in their team’s success.


“I’m looking to be the best leader that I can be for them, picking things up where they need to be picked up along with having all of my teammates back, no matter where we are in a game or in a tournament, and just to be the biggest supporter, I can be for them,” Weinberger said.


Grad student outfielder Jillian Bigos is entering the sixth season of her college career. She is looking to make the most of her last season with the team. 


“I feel like I just tried to show up to practice with a positive attitude every day. And try to just lead by example and do things like that. I have a lot of awesome upperclassmen on this team who I get to work alongside every single day. So I feel like just trying to bring positive energy to practice is kind of my role on the team,” Bigos said. 


Last season, the Pioneers finished 23-15-1, the best record under Head Coach Jessica Jacobson since joining the team in 2021. 


The Pioneers have added Coach Ashley Buschgans, who will run the defense, while Coach Jacobson will coordinate the offense.


“We’re being a little bit more strategic with our offense this year and then defensively, we have a lot of people in new positions. And so we’re also looking for them to fill different roles defensively and be able to work seamlessly as a group,” Jacobson said.


Buschgans isn’t the only newcomer to the Pioneers as junior outfielder Courtney Schwark has transferred in from Elms College. 


“She fits the mold of what I look for in a William Paterson softball player aggressiveness, offensively and defensively, but she’s very fast. So we’re excited for what she brings to the table,” Jacobson said.


The Pioneers will start their season on March 14, at Drew University, whose team has already played eight games this season.


“You could say that we’re ten games short of preparation compared to Drew, but I would say we’re fresher. And so they’re coming off of the Week in Arizona, where I mean, there’s positives and negatives to both sides of it. So, the excitement of day one. We haven’t had that yet. And that’s what it will be for us. So I see it as a positive,” Jacobson said.


Tommy Sherwood is the Editor and Chief for the Beacon. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or DM @TommySherwood03 on X. 


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