Pioneer softball ready to roll in 2020


Stephen Bologna, Sports Editor

Pioneer softball is right around the corner.

After a 17-21 finish in 2019, the Pioneer softball team is ready to lace-up their cleats and breakout in their 2020 season.

The Pioneers will be taking on the year with a 19 person roster filled with reliable and consistent upperclassmen and young and promising freshmen and sophomores.

The 24-year veteran coach, Hallie Cohen, is retiring and will not be leading the Pioneers this season, instead, assistant coach John McClain will take over the reins.

Cohen finishes her coaching career as a four-time New Jersey Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.

She is WP’s All-time leader in wins with a record of 643-326-4 and guided the Pioneers to four NJAC Tournament championships and two NCAA Tournament East Regional titles.

Her leadership in the dugout will be tough to replace, but Coach McClain has an extensive knowledge of the game as he played in the MLB with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Speaking with Caitlyn Massaro, junior, she had nothing but positive things to say about the upcoming season and the new coaching staff.

“It’s a lot of different practices and a lot more conditioning, but it’s all good. Whenever you get a new coach the transition can be tough; this was an easy transition though and we are all running with it as they all bring great things to the table.”

Excitement for the season is high amongst the players.

“It’s going to be a good season. Seeing us at practice everyone gives 100% all the time,” said Massaro. “We are working hard and want this season to be put up on a banner in the rec center. That’s our motivation. We want to win games one inning at a time.”

The Pioneers last made a Division III tournament appearance in 2017.

These 2o20 Pioneers are looking to get back to their winning ways.

The Pioneers will begin their season on March 14th, with a week down in Florida, taking part in The Spring Games.

In 2019, the Pioneers were very successful in these games as they went 9-3 in the Sunshine state.

The NJAC conference is a very competitive conference as multiple teams are in the conversation for who is the best team. Last season the Pioneers had a tough 3-15 conference record, putting them 2nd to last place in the conference.

“We play teams in double-headers, so we work hard for two hours in practice to prepare ourselves for the season,” said Massaro.

The first home game will be a conference matchup against Rutgers-Newark on Saturday, March 28th at Pioneer Softball Field at 1 PM.