The Lehigh softball team recently received their Patriot League championship rings following their victorious 2022 season.
Last season, the team prevailed over Boston University in the Patriot League championship 4-1 to end the series in an away game in Boston.
On Nov. 12, the Mountain Hawks were awarded their rings in a ceremony on Goodman Campus to celebrate their success on the diamond last season.
After last season, five seniors graduated and five freshmen joined the team.
All of the seniors from the championship team came back to Lehigh to receive their rings.
“It was nice because all the seniors came back, which might be really hard for some of them,” junior utility player Brooke Cannon said. “So I think it meant a lot to us that they were able to come back and get their rings.”
The team’s new freshmen were present for the ceremony as well, giving them an opportunity to visualize the team dynamic and picture what could be awaiting them at the end of this season, senior infielder Emily Cimino said.
Cimino said for the entire team, receiving the rings was a nice way to celebrate last season’s success.
“Everyone’s saying, ‘Now I want another one, and I want to keep pushing forward and getting better so we can do it again this year,’” Cimino said.
Cannon said despite the changed team dynamic due to the addition of a new freshmen class, players have stepped into their leadership roles that were left vacant since the graduation of last season’s seniors.
In the 2021 season, the Mountain Hawks took a tough loss to Boston University in the Patriot League championship, losing 9-2 in the final game of the series.
In the beginning of last season, the team struggled, losing nine of its first 12 games.
The team beat Boston University twice earlier in the 2022 season on May 7 and 8. Cimino said even though the Mountain Hawks had to compete on Boston’s home field without the advantage, they had beaten them twice in the past, so they knew they were capable of doing it again.
Former infielder Carley Barjaktarovich, ‘22 ‘23G, said seeing the team’s hard work pay off was the highlight of the season, especially without the advantage of playing at home.
“We’ve worked so hard from the past seasons really, so to see all our hard work pan out in the end and to be able to take it from Boston on their home field was a pretty awesome experience,” Barjaktarovich said.
Looking to carry this energy into next season with the end goal being a second consecutive Patriot League championship and another ring on their fingers, the Mountain Hawks have been focusing on collective strength and team building.
Even outside of softball, Cimino said the team builds their closeness through activities such as apple picking and laser tag in order to build chemistry off of the field.
“The main thing that we’re going to carry over (from last season) is playing for each other,” Cannon said.