Members of the NYU Softball team cheering.

As a four-year-old program, NYU’s softball team has already accomplished feats many young programs—and even well-established ones—have not been able to achieve. In just its second season, the team won the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Metro/Upstate 2016 Championship, and made it to the semifinals in the 2017 and 2018 competitions. But the team’s success is not limited to the diamond: In 2017, 13 team members were named National Fastpitch Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete All-Americans, an honor designated for student athletes who achieve a 3.5 or higher grade point average. “Our ultimate focus is always on academics,” says Now-Allah James, the team’s head coach. “But we also work on improving our game, maintaining team chemistry, actively participating in the community, and being good representatives of NYU.”

NYU softball player at the plate, holding a bat ready to swing.
Members of the NYU softball team stand in a line watching the game from the dugout.
A member of the NYU softball team slides into home base!
Members of the NYU softball team high-five.

James’ philosophy seems to have inspired a positive atmosphere for his players. According to rising senior outfielder Claire Stefanelli, playing softball has been a crucial part of her NYU experience. “NYU softball gave me a group of girls who are my family, and their support has helped me grow both as a player and a person,” she says. And for rising senior Cassi Parulis, a pitcher for the team, the emphasis NYU places on balancing athletics with academics was an important factor in her decision to attend the University. “At NYU, I have the chance to play a sport, have an internship, study abroad, and spend time doing other things I enjoy,” she says. “And since our team is new, I’ve had the chance to be part of building a legacy. With each year and milestone we reach, history is made.”

Alicia Daniele is the managing editor and content strategist in NYU’s University Relations and Public Affairs Office of Market Communications. She received her BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College and her MA in Media, Culture, and Communication from the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, where she focused her research on the representation of the environment in the media. Alicia enjoys changing passive voice into active, thwarting dangling or misplaced modifiers, and verifying a fact beyond the conventional Google search so you don’t have to.