Never giving up: Sophomore Provencal does not let rejection stop her from playing the game she loves

Megan Julian, Herald Reporter

Commitment, grit, pride and appreciation. These are the four core values of the Roger Williams University softball team.

These four words are also the perfect way to describe sophomore utility player Sydney Provencal.

Provencal has been a part of the softball team since this past fall when she tried out for her second time. During the fall of her freshman year, she tried out but got cut in the final round of tryouts.

“It was one of the toughest decisions I had to make,” Head Coach Joyce Maudie said.

She knew Provencal was typically an infield player, and the team was looking for an outfielder at the time. 

Provencal, a four-year varsity player in high school, said she was so upset when she did not make the team.

 “I was so down on myself, there had never been a point in my life where I didn’t achieve something that I wanted so badly,” Provencal said.

For the rest of the first semester of her freshman year, she did not think she was going to try out again the following season. But second semester came around and Provencal decided she was trying out again. She spoke to Coach Maudie and asked what she would need to work on.

“I did hitting lessons, worked on my fielding along with the help of my high school assistant coach and the girls I played with in high school. They would come down to the field with me and hit to me and throw with me which was all very helpful,” Provencal said. 

Coach Maudie said Provencal presented herself very well in her tryout her freshman year, but she did see some changes when she came back the second year and tried out.

“Across the board, she was and still is playing with a lot more confidence, but also was coming out composed. She is so coachable, and she is willing to play anywhere.” Coach Maudie said.

Coach Maudie described it as “refreshing” to know that a student-athlete is about the team, and that is exactly what Provencal is all about.

“She is a hard worker. She will do whatever it takes to make a play. She is always open to advice and wants to hear what we have to say. She is a good student of the game,” Coach Maudie said.

Sophomore pitcher Ellie Fleming, who is one of Provencal’s teammates and now great friends, watched Sydney go through this experience. They met freshman year when she tried out for the team the first time.

“When Sydney came back to try out again for the team this past fall, I was so impressed,” Fleming said. “I was amazed by how much confidence she had.”

Fleming said that having Provencal be a part of the team has really been a game changer.

“She is the type of player that gets everybody hyped up and excited. You know she wants to be at practices and games no matter what day it is,” Fleming said.

By going through this experience, Provencal says how this put things into perspective for her. It showed her that everything will not be handed to her, and that she will need to continue to work hard in order to achieve the things she wants, even if she does not receive it after the first try.  

“Never give up on something you want,” Provencal said.