Baseball and softball teams start fall ball


Emerson Basbeball. (Photo Credit: Anna Schoenmann Courtesy of Matt Horan)

By Abigail Lott

Emerson’s baseball and softball teams returned to the field three weeks ago, well ahead of the ordinary start date.

The softball team finished its non-traditional season last week, practicing four times and playing a game each week. Head Coach Phil McElroy said the team was buzzing to get back on the diamond.

“Fall Ball Day is always an exciting time,” he said. “There’s good energy and good excitement and people really enjoy being there.” 

Although temperatures are cooling down and rain pours down on Boston, Head Baseball Coach Nick Vennochi says his team is still passionate despite less-than-ideal conditions. 

“I was a little bit concerned with how [the team] would react to being out there because it was definitely not the prettiest night to be outside,” Vennochi said. “From the moment they got off the bus, it was pretty clear that they were pretty fired up to be there and it sustained all the way through some of the rain.” 

Vennochi explained that the baseball team has a consistent practice schedule of conditioning, defensive drills, and throwing programs. 

The team also played an intrasquad game on Oct. 2 to improve chemistry and get back into game-playing shape. 

“It was a really windy day so it’s kind of a hard day to get a full read on everything, but the guys were locked in,” Vennochi said. “They were focused, they competed, and they supported each other.” 

The softball team had two scrimmages, one against Framingham State University and another against University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, which helped McElroy gauge the team’s position at this point of offseason. 

“The games went well,” He said. “We don’t really focus on keeping score and things like that. We’re getting people out there. We got to see what we needed to see and the freshman contributed really well.”

According to both teams’ coaches, first-year players have adjusted well from the high school to collegiate level.

“They seem to have fit right in,” Vennochi said. “When we recruit, we really focus on fitting into Emerson as a whole. I think there are a lot of like-minded people on the team studying similar things and they all kind of bought into where we’re at.” 

“Our team is fairly small, but overall, they’ve been fitting in well and they got the nerves out on the first day of games,” McElroy added. 

The Emerson softball team has 15 players this season, the small size helping to make a tight-knit group. 

The baseball team has selected three seniors for Captains: shortstop Thai Morgan, third baseman and infielder Jake Hatch, and catcher and first baseman Matt Nachamie. Vennochi praised the three for consistency and energy so far. 

“The three of them work really well together, doing it differently,” Vennochi said. “It’s important as a captain to be you and I think that those guys are always themselves, but I think they’ve been doing a good job.” 

McElroy dislikes the term “captain” and opted to call those positions “team leaders.” Juniors shortstop and first baseman Makenzie Killough and shortstop and second baseman Claire Overton took the position of softball team leaders.

Both coaches expressed their aspirations for the season, focused on smaller team-oriented goals. 

“When we set out at the beginning of the season we want to be one team all the way through,” Vennochi said. “We want to waste zero days. Those are our two big-picture goals… I think we have a lot to prove and I think we are the group that is going to prove it.”

McElroy noted that the NEWMAC has fierce competition similar to the best Division III conferences in the country. The softball team, he said, wants to compete.

“My goal is to continue to put a competitive team on the field that represents Emerson College,” McElroy said. “Our goal can never be to win the championship every year. You have to set goals that you can obtain. Just being respectable, showing up every day, being competitive, and if we do that, which I think we can, we can beat anybody on any given day.”