Softball is Back in Full Swing


Jessica Piland

Tayli Filla swings at a ball during the Feb. 11 matchup against LIU. The Eagles won 5-3.

Genevieve Vitiello, Staff Writer

Spring sports are back, and the students and athletes of FGCU couldn’t be more excited. The 2023 softball season started Feb. 10 with back-to-back games that weekend, winning three out of five games getting the FGCU softball team excited for the next few months. 

Winning 18 games last season, the women of FGCU softball are ready to bring more success into this upcoming season. The team has new talented freshmen just starting their college journey with FGCU as well as  many returning players taking on new leadership roles this season.

Graduate student Tayli Filla is starting her second season with FGCU. She described this season as a whole new experience compared to last year.

“I’m looking forward to just competing,” Filla said. Everyone out here wants to be out here and wants each other to do well. It’s exciting to be out here with them and compete.”

Filla has started every game for the Eagles this season. She holds a .289 batting average and is tied for the most home runs on the team with four. She leads the team with 24 hits. 

As an older member on the team, Filla has tried to find ways to be a leader for the team and help others succeed.

“I love to teach people and I love to help people get better, so that’s what I’ve been doing a lot this year,” Filla said. “I’m helping others get better and teaching them what I know so that when I leave, I can leave my mark on them and the program.”

Being from Fort Myers, Florida, Filla has the chance to get to play for and represent her hometown. She says she loves playing her favorite sport in a place she calls home.

“It’s just awesome to have the community around me that I grew up in,” Filla said. “Everybody comes out. I still have friends on my high school team and their parents come out just for fun to watch me because they’re away playing somewhere else. It’s just exciting to have a lot of people support me.”

Through 27 games this season, the Eagles hold a 15-12 record. At home, the Eagles are 11-4 but are 0-4 on the road and 4-4 when playing at a neutral site. Filla described the challenges of playing on the road compared to playing at home.

“When you’re on the road, you can’t sleep in the comfort of your own bed,” Filla said. “You kind of have to adjust your schedule to waking up and eating hotel breakfast and then sitting on the bus for a few hours.” 

Filla believes these struggles are just part of the learning process for many of the new players on the team.

“I think that the more we travel, the more we’ll get used to it,” Filla said. “I’m definitely used to it. I’m old now, but we have a lot of underclassmen, lots of freshmen and they’ve never been on the road before, so it was a new experience with them.”

As the Eagles begin to face their ASUN conference opponents in the final stretch of the season, the team remains excited and is hopeful for success.