Upperclassman set the tone for upcoming season

Ellie Fleming at home plate during a home game.

You’re a senior on the Roger Williams University Softball Team. It’s your last fall ball game and you can’t wait to get out on the field. Head Coach Joyce Maudie calls out the starters, but you’re not one of them. All of the freshmen start instead. 


“That was the best game,” senior third baseman Taylor Chatowsky said. “We just wanted to see them succeed.”

Junior pitcher Ellie Fleming said she could discuss the fall ball game at length, given how special it was to her. 


“You had all the freshmen starting against Salve [Salve Regina University],” Fleming said. “Nothing compares to this feeling, I get so excited because we had all the upperclassmen on the bench screaming and shouting for them. It was just such a great energy.” 

Making up almost half of the softball team, there are nine freshmen under the wings of the upperclassmen this season. 


“We don’t have classes in softball,” Maudie said. “They [upperclassmen] have been really great about offering advice in terms of what to expect, thinking about your academics and schedule and regimen.” 

During the 2019 fall semester, Coach Maudie was rarely on campus due to a medical situation within her family. 


“I was gone for almost two and a half months,” Maudie said. “They [upperclassmen] didn’t miss a beat. They maintained the program, they checked in on me and my family… they made a difficult situation really, very easy.” 

The team stands by four key words: grit, pride, appreciation and commitment. Appreciation is the word that sticks out most to Fleming.


This admiration is especially directed toward one group of people: the coaches.


“I think it’s just important to appreciate the coaches just as much as we appreciate each other,” Fleming said. “We wouldn’t be here without them.” 


This part of the season, when the players get back into the swing of things at the beginning of spring semester, is one of the best times for the team. It allows the team to get an idea of the potential players have for the season.


“Seeing our base, where we are right now, and knowing that we are just going to get better… I think is so exciting,” Taylor Chatowsky said. 


The team was able to catch two warmer days to hit balls outside for their first couple of practices this season. 

“The other day we hit off the machine and sometimes we don’t always hit the best off of the machine, especially when it’s freezing cold outside,” senior outfielder Tara Chatowsky said. “Coach said, ‘You guys did so good.’ Hopefully, it continues to be that way. It almost feels like a different energy.” 


The softball team will be bringing this energy to Florida on March 6 for five days to play 10 games. It may sound tiring, but Fleming and the Chatowsky twins agree it is one of their favorite times of the season. 

“Just to play softball in warm weather and not worry about anything else…” Fleming said. “It’s the best feeling.”