After a year away, softball is back at NCC.
The team has brought in head coach Rick Wilmott to help bring the team back. Wilmott has over 40 years of playing and teaching fastpitch softball.
“The hardest part has building a team from scratch,” Wilmott said. “We only had two girls on campus to play, so we had to go find girls that wanted to play college softball.”
The team took a one-year hiatus in 2019, citing not having enough players to put out a competitive team.
“Our goal is to go .500 and try to make the playoffs,” Wilmott said. “I think that’d be a nice rebound for a team that didn’t play last year.
This is Wilmott’s first stop as a college head coach, coaching instead in tournaments since 1991.
“The biggest difference is the amount of practice, seeing each other more and showing these girls drills they’ve never seen before,” Wilmott said.
Wilmott is looking to bring new avenues to teach the game. He is a certified CUDIT hitting instructor, helping fortify what he already sees as this team’s strength.
“We excel at hitting and playing a faster-pitched game,” Wilmott said. “When you watch basketball and see the guys running up and down the court, that’s what we do on the softball field.”
The season gets underway on March 21st with a double-header against Cumberland, the last team NCC faced before their hiatus in 2018. The season stretches until the first week of May, where the girls will face Ocean County College on their home field.
“I think the fans will have a lot to like if they come out,” Wilmott said. “We play with a lot of speed and intensity, and while we do expect a lot from these girls, we also like to let them go out there and have fun.”
The return of softball to NCC is a welcomed one, with a lot of people hopeful for a successful return for the program.