Softball to end as varsity sport at MMA

CASTINE – The Maine Maritime Academy plans to discontinue its softball program after the 2013-2014 season as part of department restructuring.

MMA’s Director of Athletics Steve Peed announced recently that restructuring of the Athletics Department will take effect this fall.

Other primary changes will include the renovation of existing facilities and the addition of new staff and a new sport, women’s lacrosse.

These projects are the result of a comprehensive department review conducted since Peed’s tenure began in 2012.

“The changes reflect a department-wide goal to offer the best student athlete experience possible in each athletic program the Academy offers,” Peed said.

MMA’s lack of a softball field on campus restricted the college from delivering a quality softball program, said Peed. The Athletics Department plans to work with athletes interested in forming a club softball team.

Co-ed intramural softball also will be offered in the 2014-2015 academic year. Club and intramurals do not have strict field requirements and games will take place on the campus’s grass practice fields.

MMA softball players were notified at the start of classes this year that this would be their final season.

Mariners’ softball coach Tricia Carver-Watson said she intends to finish strong.

“We will make use of every resource we have for a successful year, and to work towards closure,” Carver-Watson said.

To replace softball, MMA Athletics will launch a women’s lacrosse program, which fits naturally with the existing facilities on campus, said Peed.

The women’s lacrosse team will begin NCAA play during the 2014-2015 academic year.

In preparation, interested athletes will form a club lacrosse team while MMA searches for a head coach for the spring semester. Once a coach is selected, the college intends to recruit additional players to join the existing ones on campus.

A women’s lacrosse roster typically includes 20 or more athletes, providing MMA an alternative opportunity for female involvement in athletics.

“Our focus is modernizing, while delivering quality services and acting with fiduciary responsibility,” Peed said.

Other department restructuring plans that are either under way or complete include the following:

An overhaul of the cardio fitness and weight rooms, including new floors and new equipment.

Making the men’s and women’s head soccer coaches separate positions and bringing in Seth Brown (MMA class of ’98) as women’s soccer coach and coordinator of student-athlete affairs.

The addition of Ryan Paquette as a strength and conditioning coach.

Renovations to the women’s locker rooms.

Questions regarding MMA athletic programs can be directed to Steve Peed, director of athletics, at 326-2451 or e-mail to [email protected]

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Fenceviewer Staff

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