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Softball Season Fires Up

Mandi Almarode takes her cut at a pitch in a game against Thomas Dale during the 2013 season.
Mandi Almarode takes her cut at a pitch in a game against Thomas Dale in 2013.

As the winter sports wind down, the spring sports are just getting started. The fans are stepping outside of the gym and going onto the field.

The locker room floors are littered with althetic bags and equipment as multiple sports prepare for tryouts this week. One of the many spring sports starting back is softball, and this week marks the beginning of the three-to-four month season.

“I have been hitting on days I don’t have conditioning,” sophomore Brendal Vargo said.  “I go to the batting range and the ball field on weekends to practice also.”

The long period between last season and tryouts can cause players to lose muscle and ability and those who keep up their condition stand out on the first days.  Some feel that the main part of competing with others at tryouts is by having shown up to conditioning and staying on top.

“I think I have a pretty good chance of making the team,” Vargo said.  “I have been going to every conditioning and putting in the work.”

Others have the luck of having been on the team for years and know what to expect from the tryouts and the coaches.

“I have been playing since ninth grade on Varsity,” Junior Casey Abernethy said.  “I hope I am fortunate enough to make it again because it is one of the highlights of my year.”

Like all things, there are negatives and positives, but some see things as a positive while others do not.  Those that capitalize on their positives and compensate for their negatives are the clear choice for the team.

“I think hitting off the pitching machine is hard because it is coming at you fast and at different angles,” Vargo said.

With there being an interval between the last season and tryouts, players are able to reflect on last year while looking towards next year.

“[The best thing about starting a new season] is a clean slate for everyone,” Abernethy said.  “You get to set goals for yourself and the team and try to exceed those goals.”

The announcements during school regarding players putting their bat bags in their lockers as soon as they arrive may seem like an inconvenience but most have no problem with it.

“I leave [my bat bag] in my car,” Abernathy said.  “I have never carried my bag around because I have always been able to place it in a classroom, but I understand the reason behind the announcement.”

The end of last year’s season marked the loss of three senior players, but regardless the close bond that teammates share helps them compete at their full potential.

“We loss some good players last year,” Senior Whitney Clements said.  “I feel good about the season as long as we stay positive.”


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