Sliding into softball season, the Warriorettes move right along with a standing record of 11-2 at press time. Now that the season is underway, the girls have become very close with each other.
”The season is going well, the team is great! The goal for the team is to go to state. A team bonding event was a cookout when we had a party for Ashley’s birthday. The team atmosphere is like we are sisters. We’ve known each other for a long time and we’ve had four groups of sisters on the team,” center fielder Abbey Martin (10) said.
For some, the season marks their final high school year of softball. Senior Ashley Martin will be leaving the Warriorettes at the end of this school year to begin her journey to play for Michigan State University, a NCAA Division I and Big Ten school, next year.
“What I am looking forward to as I advance into the college level as an athlete is traveling to different places and being able to have the experience of a lifetime,” Ashley Martin said.
Her journey along with seniors Zoe Zellers and Alyssa Lucas comes to a close with the last out of the final inning.
”This season has been amazing. This team has shown me what it means to have someone’s back. The chemistry that the team has is amazing, and everyone on the team is looking towards the same goal on and off the field,” Ashley Martin said.
The seniors and the rest of the team hope to win sectionals after losing in 2019 and having the 2020 season canceled due to COVID-19 and go to the state tournament. The team works on bonding along with their fielding, batting, throwing, pitching, and other skills needed to play softball at the high school level. At the beginning of the season, each player had to pick a partner and learn 10 things about the other person. The team also goes to breakfast together as a way of solidifying their bond on and off the field.
“The atmosphere of the team is phenomenal, and everyone wants to help each other and have fun as a team and not as an individual,” Ashley Martin said.
Because the team works together as one, the upperclassmen had no problems helping the underclassmen prepare for their first season as freshmen or sophomores, who did not have a season due to state shut down last spring.
As a freshman going from playing middle school sports to high school sports can be a big change and a bit overwhelming. The competition level gets harder; athletes no longer just playing against others at a specific age group. The expectations become higher as every team wants that state championship trophy.
For Haley Thomas (9), the transition was fairly smooth.
“The transition was very smooth for me. I had played with most of the girls before, so I basically knew how everyone played. The competition has changed though,” Thomas said. “ I think I handled it very well though because in the past I used to always play up a division in travel softball, so I am used to harder competition. Middle softball and high school softball are different in many ways, from how practice is run to how close our team is. In middle school, our team only really talked when we were in practice.”
The momentum the team has created in their play and bonding has helped them through the halfway point in their season.
“Overall, our season has been very solid. We have been playing solid in games, with some mistakes here and there. We have executed everything that our coach has wanted when it mattered the most, which has helped us win games,” Thomas said. “A little goal set for our team is to score at least five runs a game. A big goal for our team is to win sectionals.”