Silver Linings Playbook

One has to love GoPack. GoPack always finds a silver lining in a dark cloud. Sometimes when a State sport's team has lost a number of games in a row, GoPack will write something like this: yea, this team lost 10 games in a row, but all of the teams they lost too were highly ranked. In keeping with the preceding sentences, note this GoPack article about the softball team. In paraphrasing the opening lines of the article in question one could write: Yes, the team did not receive enough votes to make the the final poll of 25 from the Nations Fastpitch Coaches Association, but we were 29th.

Seriously, the softball team did have a good year, and I really enjoyed following them. Further, it is better to receive 15 votes in this poll than to receive none. Here are some noteworthy accomplishments of the team from GoPack:

The Wolfpack finished the season with a 36-18 record, including a 16-8 mark in ACC play. State advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season under head coach Shawn Rychcik and made history by becoming the first team from the state of North Carolina to win the first two games of an NCAA Regional, advancing to the final without a loss.

NC State was also the first team since 2005 to defeat a top-four national seed before a regional final with the Wolfpack’s 5-4 win against fourth-seeded Georgia.

During the season, the Pack received votes for the NFCA top-25 poll six different weeks, including four consecutive weeks from March 25 - April 15. The final ranking in the polls at No. 29 is the highest in program history, besting last year’s ranking of 31.

For the second year in a row, State broke several school records during the season. The 2014 squad finished with a team batting average of .275, the highest for any Wolfpack squad in program history. Its .357 on-base percentage ties as the best in school history as well.

The Pack also made history during the regular season by winning 14 straight games, breaking the previous school record of 13 consecutive games set by the 2013 team. The group also bested the program mark for home wins with 22 and home winning percentage with an .880 clip.

I would add that State during the regular season again took two of three from UNC-this time in Chapel Hill-with Renada Davis hitting three home runs during the series. Davis hit 19 homers this year in a season in which nine games were canceled due to bad weather.

It was a good year for State softball; however, considering how Georgia pounded State 9-1 and 8-0 (mercy rule applied) to win the regional in Athens, State has a long ways to go. Adding to the preceding thought is Georgia losing the Athens Super Regional to Baylor.

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