Beginning her collegiate softball career split between second base and being a designated hitter, Lacey Clark emerged in her sophomore year as the Pride’s full-time second baseman.
Now a senior, Clark is looking to help lead Hofstra, which is fourth overall in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play, to a championship.
Over her four seasons, Clark has played and started over 150 games for the Pride, batting .293 overall with 140 hits and 96 RBI.
As a senior and veteran in the clubhouse, Clark has taken on a new role this season aside from the Pride’s everyday second baseman.
Now, she has the opportunity to use what she’s learned over the course of four years to enter a role of leadership.
“It went so fast, but I definitely feel like a senior,” Clark said. “The little things that I always struggled with are all so easy for me now and it’s easier for me to help [the freshmen] because I’ve been in that situation.”
Clark grew up in Victor, New York, and played on the varsity softball team at Victor High School for four years before deciding to come to Hofstra to play ball on Long Island.
“[Hofstra’s] a very competitive program that isn’t necessarily [equipped] with all the gadgets, so it’s based on work ethic, not the stuff we have,” Clark said.
This season, Clark is batting .276 with 24 RBI.
Last season, the Pride lacked a solid pitching staff, putting much more pressure on the hitters to put runs on the board.
Knowing that everyone has each other’s backs, along with good pitching, has helped Clark’s overall confidence to grow this year.
In addition to shaping Clark as a player, Hofstra has also shaped her off the field.
“[Hofstra] has made me a champion on and off the field,” Clark said.
“They have made me know how to be successful when it comes to my skills in softball, to my details … and it’s easy to take it off the field into the classroom and my profession. They’ve made me be the best at what I’m doing.”
She received the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award during both her sophomore and junior year.
After graduation, Clark plans on attending a graduate school for occupational therapy.
“Hofstra has taught me to be passionate. So I know that if I’m on the field, I’m giving that 100 percent and if I’m off the field, in my career, I’m giving that 100 percent,” Clark said.
“I’m lucky that in the profession that I chose; I’m so passionate so that’s made it easy to be able to be the best at both softball and my academics.”
Aside from teaching Clark to be passionate, taking the field with the Pride for the past four seasons has given her moments she’ll never forget.
Winning the CAA championship her sophomore year is one of those, but a new one – recently added to the list – was on Senior Day.
“[Jessica] Peslak was throwing, so a senior threw the whole game, and I was on second base and my other classmate Christie Sinacori scored me for the winning run,” Clark said.
“That’s the perfect moment that you can’t make up. So that happening on Senior Day was obviously one of my favorite moments to share with my classmates.”
As Clark retires the bat and glove for the Pride after this season, a new set of players will take the places of her and the other graduates.
Clark offered some words of advice for the incoming recruits: “Make sure that you love the game. We put in so much time. We put in so much work,” Clark said.
“They have to come in knowing that this program is everything.
This is going to be their life and if they’re passionate about it and if they care and they’re willing to put in the work, then they’re going to succeed … It takes a lot of work and it takes a lot of passion.”
Clark also reiterated a previous statement made by Hofstra head coach Larissa Anderson that it takes a certain kind of person to play for the program.
“My teammates always say how it’s amazing how the coaches find 17 girls who are so alike. There’s so many differences, but at the end of the day, we all want the same things,” Clark said.
“We’re disciplined. We’re motivated. So there definitely is a Hofstra athlete.”
Clark and the Pride look to continue their solid play within the conference, in which they are 9-4.
The Pride is second behind James Madison University and the team is excited heading down the stretch with just six games left in the regular season.
“We obviously think we can win it. We know we can win it. If we’re playing at the top of our game, then we can definitely beat them,” Clark said.
“We just have to want it more.”