NJCU Softball Season Recap


Jocelyn Prescod

NJCU Women’s Softball game. Photo Courtesy of Jocelyn Prescod.

Tyler Brown Jr., Contributing Writer

NJCU’s softball team had a rough spring and ended their season 0-19.

Part of what made this a development year for the team was that they had several freshmen playing, and the pandemic meant they did not really have a fall season to practice, and only three months to prepare for the NJAC.

Coach Ashley Martinez said, “Emma Herrick, the first baseman is a sophomore who is competitive and likes to be challenged. Dulce Almonte, the third baseman is just getting her feet wet and will return next year. The catcher and three rotating pitchers have to adjust from playing high school ball, which is a huge leap.”

Martinez said next year she hopes to bring in eight to 10 players and wants to have 18 on the roster and nine to play. She said one new player will be Abby Castrol, a fire science major.  She loves to coach and brings an environment to the girls where they play together as a team.

Martinez studied business in school and never really saw coaching as a career. She started to play softball at 6 or 7 and never saw this coming after graduating. At 21, Martinez was told the position was open and she hesitated but realized she would rather connect with the young women than go into business. She is now in her third year of coaching and her first as assisting. Martinez says she wants the girls to develop to prepare themselves to come back better for next season. For the summer, the team will have a full-body workout and also watch films on their games to see what they learn and what can be improved.

Softball will start at the end of September or the beginning of October. Next spring it will begin at the end of January going into February. There will be six weeks until pre-season and Martinez wants to go to Florida and have a 40-game season. It’s been a decade since the softball team has won a conference game. Going into the season, Martinez told herself “we’re going to turn heads” that was the goal. The team exhausted themselves with what they learned and translated it to the field. In the last game of the season, NJCU played Rutgers with only 10 players due to the fact some players were sick. They saw them again in the playoffs and lost 2-1 in a hard-fought game.

Coach Martinez knows the team has a lot of work to do and will do everything she can to prepare them. Martinez said “I expect the team to do better next year but in 2 years the team has a chance to win it all. It is a Small roster team but they always spend time together so you can tell the bond is there.” Coach Martinez also says “she has a unique way and style to get her message across. Some of the girls confide in her and are comfortable to talk to their coach about their problems.”

This wasn’t the best year for softball but expect them to do better next season to make a run and have a chance at the title.