By Cooper-John Trapp, Staff Writer
USM softball produced back-to-back Little East Conference Rookie and Player of the Week for the weeks ending on March 18 and 25, respectively. Coming on the heels of the team’s annual spring training trip to Florida, Hannah Kenney, an undeclared freshman with a nursing major intention from Oxford Hills, ME, won Rookie of the Week, and Erin Martin, a sophomore Health Science major with a Business minor from Biddeford, ME, won Player of the Week. Each contributed greatly to their team record.
Kenney lead the team with a .440 batting average and two home runs in 11 out of 12 games in the Huskies Florida debut. Martin carried a .444 batting average over 12 games so far this season with seven RBIs in the last two games played in the Sunshine State.
Kenney’s teammates praise her leadership among the girls, and the intensity she brings to practice. “She pushes us to be better every day,” said KT Favaloro, a freshman softball player. Kenney is proud of the recognition but doesn’t let it get to her. If anything, she says, “It makes me want to work even harder.”
Both have played the sport since they were young children, and each were drawn to USM because of the strength of the softball program, sense of camaraderie within the team and head coach Sarah Jamo.
Before Jamo came on board in the summer of 2012, Martin said that USM softball was a losing program. “She turned it around,” Martin added, who is eager to contribute to the team this season after sitting out most of last year due to a broken jaw she suffered from a stray pitch.
Kenney had a moment of revelation this year that encapsulates her approach to the team. Frustrated to be paired to a new player with much less experience in practice one day, the Rookie of the Week remembered a quote from her old coach— “I’m not the best me unless I can help someone else be the best they can be.”
Martin agrees with her teammate, and shares her own goal— “to leave this team, and community, better than I found it.”
The softball team opens their home turf this coming week, with games on on Tuesday, April 3 against Husson at 3 and 5 p.m, and on Thursday, April 5 against Salem State at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m.