PURCHASE, N.Y. -- Jessica Van Galen was putting the bat on the ball during her Manhattanville College softball season, however, the results were not what she wanted. I was hitting the ball hard, but I was hitting it right at people, said Van Galen, a Fox Lane graduate. I was getting a little frustrated things werent going as well as I wanted, but I knew as long as I stayed relaxed and with my approach, things would start to go my way. Van Galens patience and perseverance resulted in the junior having a monster stretch, resulting in an excellent second half to her season. Van Galen set a Division III record with a home run in five consecutive games, including a three-homer, nine RBI output in a doubleheader. It earned Van Galen Freedom Conference player of the week honors She finished with 10 home runs, tied for team high, and led Manhattanville with 35 RBI, 78 total bases and a .661 slugging percentage. Van Galen hit .347 (41 for 118) with 21 runs scored and also had seven doubles. That week, it all went right, said Van Galen of her home-run barrage. When things are going well its easier to play relaxed. Prior to her Freedom Conference player-of-the-week honors, it would have been easy for Van Galen to break down her swing or make adjustments. Along with staying relaxed, Van Galen kept it simple. When I am struggling a little, I tend to get overanxious, Van Galen said. I wanted to keep things simple and not do too much. Ive had weeks where I hit the ball well, especially during my freshman year, however, I dont think I ever had a week where I hit the ball that well, with power. Van Galen was instrumental in leading the Lady Valiants to the Freedom Conference regular-season title. Even though Manhattanville was upset in the final by Misericordia, it did not take away from its fine season. Although we did not end up winning, we gave it our all, played with our hearts and had a great season, Van Galen said.
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