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Spring sports are ‘Ram ready’

By Sophia Oppedisano

Asst. Sports Editor


Man pitching a baseball facing right.
Adrien Gobin / THE GATPOST

Baseball

The Framingham State baseball team is ready for their return to the field after coming up short in the MASCAC Tournament semi-finals this past season. 


The Rams were ranked fourth in the 2024 MASCAC Preseason Poll after finishing last season with an overall record of 26-15 and a conference record of 15-6. 


Their regular-season success captured the program’s first-ever MASCAC Regular Season Title.


Captain Robert Johnston said the rankings “don’t mean anything.


“We were sixth in last year's preseason poll and look how that turned out,” he added. 


The team went into the 2023 postseason as the top seed for the first time in program history and hosted the tournament. Their playoff bid was cut short after falling to fourth-ranked Mass. Maritime Academy in the semifinals. 


Captain Steven Burbank said the ranking is “understandable, but also feels like a little fuel to our fire.


“We finished first in the conference last season and didn’t have the postseason we were looking for so I thought [the ranking] would’ve been higher,” Burbank added.


The Rams are going into the 2024 season with new leadership in Head Coach Sean Trindall, who was hired to run the program this past October. 


“He has done a good job of communicating with everyone and we’re excited to pursue our goal of winning the MASCAC,” Johnston said. 


Burbank said the team is excited to get back out and compete at the highest level. 


“It’s always a blast being out there with the guys - giving everything you have to try to win the first conference championship in school history,” he added. 


“We have a really good team and returned practically the entire lineup - it should be fun to watch us hit,” Johnston said. 


The Rams had a combined .306 batting average and a .406 on-base percentage last season. 


“I really think we’re going to hit this year. It’s a very tough lineup to work through one to nine,” Johnston added.


The Rams start their season March 12 against Emerson before heading to Florida to play national opponents.


A softball player throwing a pitch toward the camera.
Adrien Gobin / THE GATPOST

Softball

The Framingham State softball team is storming back to the field hoping for a three-peat this season after winning the MASCAC Championship the past two years. 


The Rams completed the 2023 season with a 33-13 overall record and a 13-1 conference record, securing them the 2023 MASCAC Regular Season Title. Their success in 2023 helped to boost them to a number-one ranking in the 2024 MASCAC Preseason Poll. 


Among the returning players for the Rams is MASCAC Pitcher of the Year and a Team Captain, Ally Moran, who earned a record of 21-5 in the circle and boasts a 1.16 ERA. 


Moran said the team has a “genuine camaraderie” this season.


“We just need to do what we’ve done in past years - we have to continue playing solid defense and getting timely hits to win games. Those two things have definitely played the largest role in our success,” she added. 


The Rams’ defense resulted in shutouts in 12 of their 33 wins and the offense tallied 76 doubles and 26 home runs throughout the 2023 season.


Eight of those home runs belonged to Captain Gwendolyn Carpenter, one of the seven players tabbed as MASCAC All-Conference Team members last season. 


Carpenter said it’s an “awesome feeling” for the team to be looking for their third straight championship.


“It’s no easy feat - this is a completely different team than each of the last two seasons so figuring out our identity and playing to our strengths will be important,” she added. 


Carpenter also noted the “great group of underclassmen.


“With such a small team, there will be plenty of opportunities for them to step up and get experience so I’m excited for them!” she said. 


Both Moran and Carpenter said the team is looking forward to their yearly trip to Florida, where they will play eight games against national opponents.  


“Winning is definitely fun and something we have been able to do over the last few years but I’m looking forward to making memories that may not be strictly on the field,” Moran said. 


“I love this team and I love the way we play together. It’s a great group of girls who love to play softball,” Carpenter said. 


The Rams play the University of Hartford in their season-opening doubleheader at home March 8 before heading to Florida.


Two women clashing lacrosse sticks in a field.
Adrien Gobin / THE GATPOST

Women’s lacrosse

The Framingham State Rams women’s lacrosse team is ready for redemption this season after losing their MASCAC Tournament final matchup to Westfield State last season. 


The Rams completed their season with a 12-8 overall record and a 5-2 conference record, handily defeating those five conference opponents. 


Notable returners for Rams lacrosse are Captains Hannah Guerin and Regan Fein, who were both selected as MASCAC All-Conference Team members. Guerin was selected as MASCAC’s Player of the Week twice, and Fein already broke the school record for draw controls this season.


The Rams scored an average of 16 goals per game and had a 51.6 shooting percentage during the 2023 season.


The team was ranked second in the 2024 MASCAC preseason poll.


Captain Brooke Phelps said, “We are focusing on ourselves and we are focusing on things we can control. A big word for us is ‘composure’ and it is one of the most important qualities of our team, if not the most important one. Mental toughness flows through our team, and we owe a big thanks to our coaches for that.”


In October, the program found new leadership in Head Coach Casey Bradley ’22, an alumna of Framingham State women’s lacrosse.


“We are so lucky to have Coach Casey with us,” Phelps said.


“The fact that she is an alum makes the process easier. She understands our values and goals more than the average coach. That translates well to our new team members - they share the drive we have to win the championship,” she added. 


As of press time, the Rams have an overall record of 1-2 as they prepare for their first conference matchup of the season against Mass. Maritime Academy March 9. 


“I am very excited for the conference games! Our team has big goals this season and I am super excited to see our hard work pay off,” Phelps said. 


The team is also preparing to head to Panama City Beach in Florida to face off against Western New England and Keene State universities.


“Keep an eye on those stats. We have a really talented group of girls on this team and we are continuing to break records and reach our individual goals,” Phelps said. 


Two women running on a track
Adrien Gobin / THE GATPOST

Women’s track and field

The Framingham State women’s track and field team prepares to begin their season at the BSU Bears Invitational, hosted by Bridgewater State March 23.


The women’s track and field 2024 MASCAC Preseason Poll has not been released yet.


However, the Rams have shown growth over the past few seasons. Framingham State was ranked fifth out of six teams in the 2023 MASCAC Preseason Poll, but exceeded expectations for the season. 


Framingham earned MASCAC titles in four different events and earned a third-place finish at the 2023 MASCAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships April 29.


Alumni Casey McCauliffe and Emily Newcomb finished first in the 10,000-meter run and the 3,000-meter steeplechase, respectively.


Junior Kaylee Beck earned Framingham’s other two MASCAC titles with her first-place finish in both the shot put and hammer throw, but is not competing this season.


Alongside Beck is junior Alyssa Caputo, the Rams’ returning discus thrower. Caputo became the first Ram to qualify for DIII New England’s last season.


Beck, McCauliffe, and Newcomb earned spots on the MASCAC All-Conference team for their first-place finishes at the MASCAC Championships.


Freshman Kate Buban enters her debut track and field season after earning 2023 MASCAC Rookie of the Year for women’s cross-country. She has already made her mark as one of the team’s elite runners.


Buban is one of 11 freshmen in the constantly growing program. There are currently 22 athletes on the roster, only two of whom are seniors and four of whom are juniors. The underclassmen dominate the roster, which shows the continuous growth over the past seasons.


The Rams’ new Head Coach, Mark Johnson, leads the track and field team for the first time this season. Johnson is in his seventh season on the coaching staff after serving as the assistant coach since 2017. He was hired as the men’s and women’s cross country head coach, women’s track and field head coach, and staff assistant in November.

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