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  • Writer's pictureLJ VP LAFIURA

Kitty Corner: Beans

Photo by: Alyssa Bland

The softball team has gotten off to a furious start to the year. Following a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) runner-up performance in last year’s campaign, the Lasers are now 15-8 including a 7-1 conference record, over four runs per game, and an undefeated year thus far defending Taylor Field. At the heart of this ferocity is a new addition, softball’s support staff, Beans.

Beans is an 11-year-old cat belonging to sophomore catcher Alyssa Bland. Bland is a two-year starter from Camden, Maine where Beans also currently resides. During her two years, Bland has played over 60 games and accumulated over 40 hits. 

“She’s, you know, a cat, she does regular cat things,” Bland said. “I talk about her a lot. So all my teammates knew who she was.”

Beans’ role of support for the Lasers took root during their annual trip to Florida, a trip where they went 4-6 against teams from across the nation. While Beans remains in Maine, the team instead has two pillows of the mascot, one for cheering and one for when things get serious according to Bland.

“I took the pillow to media day and was like ‘this would be funny if we did it’ and then I just brought it to Florida,” Bland said. “After like day two I was like, ‘I'll just bring it to the field’ like if something bad happens there it is like we can just look at it. And so it kind of just stuck.”

According to Bland, the team has responded well to this season’s motivation tactic. “Everyone knows like, ‘there's Beans’ like they weren't surprised everyone thought it was funny,” Bland said. “It's just kind of funny. Just to keep the energy light in the dugout.”

Senior pitcher Eryn Sheeley stands with the Beans pillow on Taylor Field. Photo by Riley Silvia

First-year head coach Paul Gray has also been quick to adopt Beans into the Laser softball family. Bland feels that Gray has made a concerted effort this year to keep games and practices both fun and competitive. 

“We want to win, of course, but we just want to have fun while we're playing,” Bland said. “That's why we play and I think like this just helps that. It's fantastic.”

While Beans has been unable to attend her first Lasers softball game in person, Bland is hopeful for it to work out sometime in the future.

“She’s not really a fan of the car,” Bland said. “So yeah, we’ll see.”


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