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Softball’s Ashtin Helmer brings heat to spring sports

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Ashtin Helmer ’16

As starting pitcher for TCNJ’s softball team, Ashtin Helmer ’16 is well aware that no position on the field dictates the spirit of play more than the player toeing the rubber. In January, Helmer participated in the college’s LeaderShape program, a six-day experience that challenges participants to explore identity development and inclusive leadership. She feels this education off the field will pay major dividends on the diamond.

“It was amazing. It changed my life,” says Helmer, a health and exercise science major and student-worker in the athletic training room. “I was nominated by my coach and it was just an incredible experience. It will definitely help my leadership skills in softball and moving forward in life.”

After graduation, Helmer plans a career as a physician’s assistant. For the time being, she will give her all for Head Coach Sally Miller and the Lions softball squad.

Mother Nature put the season opener on ice for softball, but the Lions hope to open their season in the Sea Gull Classic Tournament at Salisbury University on March 6 and 7. TCNJ will play four games over the weekend before returning to campus for its home opener against Muhlenberg College in a doubleheader on Wednesday, March 11, at Dr. June Walker Field.

 

Spring Sports Preview

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Season opener: Thursday, March 5 at Messiah College
Home opener: Sunday, March 8 vs. Oswego State at George Ackerman Park
What to watch: The top three pitchers for TCNJ have a combined record of 18-7, while shortstop Anthony Cocuzza ’15 will serve as the backbone on offense and defense for the Lions. 

 

Lacrosse

March opener: Saturday, March 7 vs. Neumann College in Lions Stadium
Good to know: Head Coach Sharon Pfluger has put down the champagne glass after leading TCNJ to a field hockey national championship this fall. She is back to work with Lions lacrosse players in search of the program’s 14th NCAA championship trophy.

 

Men’s Tennis

March opener: Wednesday, March 7 vs. Ramapo College in TCNJ’s Tennis Complex
Good to know: Junior Pierce Cooper closed out last spring with a 15-match winning streak as the Lions host 14 home events in pursuit of an at-large bid to the NCAA championships. 

 

Women’s tennis

Home opener: Saturday, March 28 vs. William Smith College in TCNJ’s Tennis Complex
Backstory: The Lions have already qualified for the NCAA championships by winning their 32nd consecutive conference title this fall. 

 

Men’s outdoor track and field

Season opener: Friday, March 20 at Hurricane Invitational in Miami, Florida
Home opener: Saturday, April 11 at TCNJ’s Track and Field Complex
What to watch: TCNJ will look to extend its conference winning streak of 17 consecutive titles.

 

Women’s outdoor track and field

Season opener: Friday, March 20 at Hurricane Invitational in Miami, Florida
Home opener: Saturday, April 11 at TCNJ’s Track and Field Complex
Good to know: TCNJ will defend its 2014 New Jersey Athletic Conference championship.

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