fbpx

Celebrating Women & Girls In Sports

Student Athletes Adjust To New School During Pandemic

When the pandemic brought sports seasons to a halt, collegiate softball pitchers Sarah Dowalo and Regan Ware both knew they wanted to transfer to different programs.

Ware was gearing up to play for Ashland University in Ohio before spring sports were cancelled. After a sudden death in the family, Ware contacted Ashland’s assistant coach to enter the transfer protocol. At first, she looked at playing for a school in the South, but coach Brooke Darreff reached out to her about attending La Salle University and their softball program. 

Dowalo, a left-handed pitcher, entered the transfer portal wanting to be closer to home. Originally from Levittown, Pennsylvania, she attended Siena College in Loudonville, New York. La Salle, in Philadelphia, was closer to her hometown and where her friend, third baseman Natalie Rios, was playing.

“I was like, ‘what if I could play with my best friend Natalie again?’” Dowalo said in an interview with GoodSport.  “So then it worked out. She gave me all the insights and what was going on with the team and everything.”

During quarantine, Dowalo and Ware found different ways to stay in shape and ready for practice and the upcoming softball season. Dowalo focused on working out and pitched to her father to make sure her pitches were “still doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”

Ware was coaching a 12U softball team. The other coaches for the team would catch for her while she tweaked her pitches, specifically her rise ball. She was also able to work out at Ashland’s gym, as it never fully closed. 

“They caught me two to three times a week and then our gyms never closed down either,” Ware said to GoodSport over Zoom. “So I basically worked on my Ashland conditioning packet and everything throughout the quarantine.”

During quarantine, Dowalo and Ware found different ways to stay in shape and ready for practice and the upcoming softball season. Dowalo focused on working out and pitched to her father to make sure her pitches were “still doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”

Ware was coaching a 12U softball team. The other coaches for the team would catch for her while she tweaked her pitches, specifically her rise ball. She was also able to work out at Ashland’s gym, as it never fully closed. 

“They caught me two to three times a week and then our gyms never closed down either,” Ware said to GoodSport over Zoom. “So I basically worked on my Ashland conditioning packet and everything throughout the quarantine.”

Entering a new program and meeting new teammates is already hard. Dowalo and Ware had to meet their new teammates over Zoom. They both said it’s been a hard transition, but Darreff has found ways to include them and welcome the players to the new environment. 

Ware was set to room with two players on the team. With the changes to campus living, Darreff found another way to introduce the three players. Over Zoom, they have breakout rooms where they can get to know each other more and adjust to their new team and program.

“It’s a little hard because you don’t know how everyone works together and you don’t know the mindset of everyone,” Dowalo said. “So it’s kinda hard and especially cause you don’t have that bond with everyone, like everyone else does on Zoom. So you’re just sitting there like, okay, but I do know Natalie, so I know a little bit, but not too much.”

La Salle is scheduled to play softball in the spring. In a press release on the university’s website, Darreff said both pitchers were great additions to the team. 

“Sarah will add diversity and experience to our pitching staff, and we are looking forward to her leadership and passion. We are so lucky to have her joining us for the remainder of her career,” Darreff said in the statement. “Regan is a determined and focused student-athlete who will bring a powerful presence to not only the circle but the roster as a whole. We can’t wait to see what she does throughout her career here at La Salle.”   

Photo Credit: Pixabay, Twitter

RELATED STORIES:

GOODSPORT ON INSTAGRAM

#FitnessFriday with @roblympian. Looking forward to seeing her dominate in Tokyo! ...

Who added meditating to their New Year's Resolution list? Even a few minutes of mindful meditation a day can leave you feeling refreshed, happier, and less stressed. ⠀

#fitnessfriday #mindfulmeditation #weekendmotivation
...

Can’t Wait For This!

“NBC Sports presents two @BarclaysFAWSL matches LIVE on NBCSN this Sunday:

7 a.m. ET: @arsenalwfc v. @westhamwomen
9:30 a.m. ET: @spurswomen v. @evertonwomen”
...

Share This