Dartmouth Softball Kicks off Preseason in Dominating Fashion Against SNHU and Bentley
Dartmouth, NH – October 1, 2023 — The Dartmouth softball team stepped onto the diamond on September 30th with a renewed focus on the “process” as they embarked on their preseason journey. The Big Green faced off against Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) and Bentley University in a double-header fall ball game. The result? A resounding victory, with Dartmouth defeating SNHU 17-3 and Bentley University 8-2.
A Fresh Start for Dartmouth Softball
Last season, Dartmouth’s softball team finished seventh overall in the Ivy League, posting an 8-13 record in conference play and a 14-25 record overall. However, this season, they’re determined to turn the tide. Lauren Ben-Ezra ’26, who received an honorable mention for All-Ivy selection for the upcoming 2023 season, embodies the team’s fresh mindset.
Ben-Ezra shared her perspective, saying, “We got out of our heads and just played softball the way we know how to.”
Emphasizing the Process Over Results
Ashley Frantz ’26 stressed the importance of focusing on the process rather than fixating on outcomes during the preseason. She remarked, “We talk a lot about not focusing on outcomes [but] focusing on the process. We are really trying to do that right now, work on getting better in the fall and coming together as a team.”
Dartmouth’s offense came alive against SNHU, scoring a remarkable 17 runs. Last season, their highest run total in a single game was 13, achieved in a victory over Brown University. This improved offensive performance can be attributed to the team’s practice under high-pressure situations.
Frantz explained, “We’ve been practicing a lot of pressure situations by doing a workout so your heart rate is up before you hit, and really just trying to calm down and be like ‘I’m going to hit.'”
Pitcher Stella Bale ’26 noted the impressive collective effort, saying, “People were passing the bats. There was not one hero; it was everyone collectively, which I think is something we struggled with last year.” She emphasized the camaraderie and commitment within the team.
“We are small again, but that’s what makes us strong,” added Bale. “We are a tight-knit bullpen crew, and I am really excited. Jensen Hall ’27 — 21 strikeouts in 8 innings, killed it this weekend, and Rachel McCarroll ’25 was everything for us.”
Stellar Performances on the Mound
Rachel McCarroll ’25 had an outstanding season last year, pitching a staggering 175.1 innings, the highest among Ivy League pitchers. With 95 strikeouts, 10 wins (the second highest in the Ivy League), and a 2.99 ERA (fifth among Ivy League pitchers), McCarroll earned a spot on the second-team All-Ivy. She completed 15 games, with three of them being shutouts.
Jensen Hall, a new addition to the team, has already started to make her mark with 21 strikeouts in 8 innings, a remarkable feat for any pitcher.
Transition and New Beginnings
While the team continues to develop and build connections, they can’t help but miss sharing the field with former teammates. Franz noted, “People are finding themselves in new roles now and learning as we go. Everyone is learning together. It’s a shared experience.”
However, the first-year players are proving to be an asset to the team. According to Ben-Ezra, “They are doing a great job. They bring a lot of energy, and they are doing a great job on the field itself — they are challenging us to be better than we were before.”
A Glimpse into the Future
When asked about her aspirations for the season, Frantz stated, “It’s too soon to say, but Ivy Championships.”
The top four teams at the end of the season will earn the coveted opportunity to compete in the Ivy League Softball Tournament, hosted by the team ranked first.
Upcoming Home Games
The Big Green’s journey continues, and they invite fans to join them as they play their first home fall ball games at Dartmouth Softball Park in Hanover on Saturday, October 7th. Dartmouth will face the Warriors of Merrimack College in a doubleheader at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. It promises to be an exciting day for softball enthusiasts and Dartmouth supporters alike.