At the cusp of a promising season, the Yale softball team is busily preparing for their annual spring break trip to Kissimmee, Fla. There, the Bulldogs will begin play with 11 games over the course of eight days.

Outfielder Ashley Sloan ’10 said the Elis have built the program over the last few years, and despite disappointments in previous seasons, this year is full of excitement.

“We have a lot of potential,” Sloan said. “We’re a little younger and a little smaller of a team, but we’ve been spending time together. Our workouts are tough, and we’ve been feeding off that energy.”

On Sunday, the team begins with a double-header against Maine and Bryant University, and will continue over spring break against teams from across the country including Butler, Bucknell, Valparaiso, South Dakota, E. Kentucky, La Salle, Youngstown State, Wagner and Army.

“We’re going in with high expectations and have been training for it all winter,” Chelsea Janes ’12 said. “We’re ready to get out there.”

The Florida trip has become a spring break tradition for the Bulldogs as an opportunity to bond, enjoy some sun, and play softball as well. Although they expect a busy schedule full of practices and double-headers almost every day, the team considers the trip a gradual warm-up to regular season play.

“The weather’s always nice,” Sloan said. “Its really good we’re all together and we get a lot of experience on the field.”

While the competition will be constant, the Elis will not meet any of their Ivy opponents, and none of the results will count toward their season record.

The first regular season softball game will be held at the end of spring recess with a double-header against Stony Brook on March 18.

“We’re all ready to get out there and actually see some live games,” captain Megan Enyeart ’09 said. “Everyone’s excited and we’ll see what we’re able to do — everything seems to be coming together.”

The first home games will be on March 21 against Marist at the Dewitt Family Field.