The Howard University women’s softball team won their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championship since May 14, 2007, defeating the Morgan State Bears in a two-game sweep.
The first matchup between the two MEAC powerhouses saw the Bison serve Morgan State with a 5-0 shut out. The Bison carried this momentum into the next game, finishing off the Bears 5-4, earning their spot in the NCAA regional tournament. Although the Bison were not able to win the regional tournament, the excitement of winning the MEAC still surged throughout the roster.
Senior outfielder Shayna Swanson discussed the feeling of victory.
“To be surrounded by my teammates and our families as we made history was so incredibly surreal,” Swanson said. “You could feel the love and dedication that everyone poured into our season finally come to life in one moment. To win was one thing, but to do it with people that I admire both as players and friends was another.”
Analise De La Roca, Howard’s graduate right hand pitcher, was named the MEAC Tournament Outstanding Player. Roca struck out four batters in Game 1 and only allowed eight hits in Game 2. Teammate and senior pitcher Sydney Hixenbaugh spoke on De La Roca’s significance to the team, both as a player and a leader.
“Analise came into the team as an immediate impact player and definitely helped the pitching staff,” Hixenbaugh said. “She was a leader not only in the circle, but her experience outside of Howard also helped her guide our younger players.”
With the women’s basketball, track & field and volleyball teams all having won their MEAC championships this past athletic season, 2022 was a big year for Howard women’s sports. Maxie Harrington, senior utility player for the women’s softball team, discussed the shared feeling of victory with her fellow female athletes.
“The women at Howard have held it down consistently,” she remarked. “It’s one of the best feelings to be part of that legacy, especially for one of the winningest years all around. After being away from campus due to Covid, it seemed like the women’s athletic teams got a bit closer, which was a great feeling.”
As fall sports start to come back around, the women’s softball team is hoping to keep that momentum to capture another MEAC championship.
Copy edited by Jadyn Barnett