Softball Players Use the ‘Family’ Technique

Zachary Pippen, Sports Reporter

The softball team is back, and players are strengthening their family bonds.

Even though the practice has been on pause, the players have been in the gym training and using their time to get to know one another better.

The women said they have had time to hone in on their skills and develop as players with their extra time, as well as work to become more comfortable with each other as a team.

Players use a unique bonding strategy. They are placed into six different families, each of which is named after Misericordia softball hall of famers. The families spend the next four years together, and when a senior graduates, freshman players come in and fill the spots.

During the team practices, lifts and even their holiday sessions, the coaches set up friendly competitions between the families.

Amanda Butera, senior early childhood education major, practices fielding ground balls. (Lindsay McCarthy)

“Our small groups became very comfortable with each other, and we learned each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” said senior medical and health humanities and psychology major Kiersten Plfueger.

Victoria Fama, catcher and first base player, said players are also able to learn from each other.

“We were able to get personal criticism and fix our mechanics,” said the sophomore health care management Pre-DPT major.

During normal fall ball, the team would have a big “Play Day,” during which they would travel to one of the local colleges and play a series of three games against three different schools. Because the event was cancelled, the coaches set up a fun picture day for the players to get photos with one another as a fun team bonding event.

Fama said the more activities like this that they do together, the stronger their bond becomes. She added that the activities also help coaches bond with the players.

“Coach wants us all to succeed on and off the field,” she said.

Senior players said they are especially looking forward to the spring season.

“I love being a part of a team that is competitive, not only with each team we play, but with each other as we look to improve each and every day,” said Plfueger.

She said she has really enjoyed her time being on the softball team. Her favorite memory was during their comeback win her sophomore year in the 2019 MAC Freedom Championships.

She hit a deep home run shot into left field to start an electric comeback. She said it was an effortless swing. and she barely felt it come off her bat. Everyone cheering for her gave her even more motivation.

Kaitlin Redling, sophomore biology Pre-DPT major, practices blocking wild pitches. (Lindsay McCarthy)

“It was not only a rewarding moment in my career but helped to shape such a memorable season,” said Plfueger.

Fama said her favorite memory was during her first series of her freshman season at Arcadia University. On the way to the game, players knew it would be the last for the season, so they played their hearts out that day and “screamed until their voices were gone.”


The team ended up sweeping Arcadia in a two-game series on the same day.

“We cheered until we had no voices, picked each other up on mistakes and laughed with each other until we were out of breath,” Fama said.

The team is looking to create even more memories like this in the spring. Players said they feel more like a family than ever, and they are confident their bond will help them have a successful season.


Below, Maddie Holub, senior early childhood education major, lays out to snag a line drive to the outfield. (Lindsay McCarthy)