NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY)- Another day of practice for the Norfolk State softball team.
The bucket brigade means, its time to hit. That’s something the Spartans have been doing a good job of lately. “Its a little simpler mindset. See the ball, hit the ball. Move the runner and score them,” says coach Heidi Cavallo.
Cavallo and hitting instructor Amanda Haverman are seeing this teams hard work pay off. So far this season, the Spartans have won 7 straight games. Monday, the Spartans tallied 32 hits and outscored Howard 31 to 2 in a double-header. In the process, the Spartans set the Division 1 record with five home runs in a game. “The last week or two the players have been hitting amazing with lots of power. We do not ask them to hit for power, we really just ask them to do their job. When they simplified that and moved the runners the power came with it,” added Cavallo.
Norfolk State already has 25 home runs this season. The overall fastpitch record is 35 set in 1997. Yes hitting home runs can shake your opponent. Center fielder Morgan Boyd says the home run lifts her team. “It gets us amped up. We get excited and we want more. Robin will hit two in a game and then Whitney will hit one and then Kayla, it gets everyone to crave to hit a home run.”
Junior first baseman Robin Mitchell from Grassfield high school went 130 at bats without a home run, but Monday she hit three with two in one game. “I’ve finally found out how to use my power, use my legs and my whole body working in sync.”
With this type of run support, Senior pitcher Jamie Schulle finds her job a little easier out on the mound. “It definitely helps you relax in the circle. You can can pitch from an offensive stand point instead of trying to not let runs score because we do not have a lead to protect. When my hitters are hitting it makes me enjoy my job more and I get to just go out there and shut them down,” says Schulle.
This weekend, the Spartans are University of Maryland Eastern Shore.