The Warwick Vets softball team powered its way to an undefeated regular season at 13-0, averaging double-digit runs per game while allowing less than two runs a game defensively.
The Hurricanes fell early in the playoffs last season, a year in which they had championship aspirations. Now, a year later and a year more experienced, Vets appears to be an unstoppable force as they look to get back to Rhode Island College and finish the job.
“We were surprised (to be undefeated). To play 13 games, anything can happen at any time. We knew going into the season that defensively, we were pretty good, we could pitch, we could hit for power, we could play small ball, every game we went in with that mindset and if we ended up winning then we ended up winning,” said Vets softball coach Rich Hough of completing the perfect regular season. “We had some games that were tough but we also had some games that were easy, and that’s when you need to make sure that you’re fundamentally prepared.”
The Hurricanes will have nearly a two-week wait between their final game of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs. Staying focused and sharp physically will be the key according to Hough as Vets looks to spend its time wisely.
“We’ve just got to keep them engaged. We have to keep them physically and mentally engaged. We’re going to have some intersquad scrimmages, we are going to keep them active and focused until the time comes. The good news is that a lot of them play on travel teams as well. But overall, keeping them focused can be hard to do, but we’ll figure it out,” said Hough.
Considering the Hurricanes dominance in all three phases of the game, Hough hopes his team can maintain its play while not getting caught up in the moment.
“We’re trying to maintain what we’re doing and take it one game at a time. I keep telling the girls that we’re climbing a ladder and we have three more rungs to go, with the top being the championship. The next game is the most important. We’re fundamentally sound, so if we don’t make any mistakes then we’ll be OK. We just need to play our game and not be concerned about what other teams are doing,” said Hough, who wants to see his team put the undefeated regular season in the past. “We’re putting it behind us, the playoffs are a new season. We’re not going to look back; everything is forward now.”