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Softball Plans To Overcome Infusion Of Youth


As her eyes scan the whole diamond, everything seems to melt away except the game. Looking out to her teammates, she sees many new faces. With the new softball season starting, so do new relationships, skills, and developments that come with a fresh, young team. The roster this year includes 7 sophomores out of a team of 14 players.

“The varsity team has gained many new players and we all get along like as if we were a family. My teammates all show determination and strive for their best,” sophomore Miranda Carmichael said.

As a returning player, Carmichael is the starting catcher this year, with hopes of using last year’s experience to make her better this year.

Starting as a tee-ball player and continuing up into softball, Carmichael has 12 years of experience in this sport.

The levels of softball increase in speed and skill set as a player gets older. Tee-ball is the start, slow pitch, and then finally fast pitch.

“Over the years, softball [has been] a getaway,” Carmichael said. “It’s a very good way to get my mind off things and to do what I love most.”

For many players a sport can be a stress reliever, distracting them from the worries of being a teenager.

The formation of a young team can lead to rough times in the beginning of the season. The pressure of starting at a varsity level can cause cracks in the team’s foundation, but the Royals look promising

As younger teams grow together throughout their first season and the seasons to come, teams playing together for years will often have the likely of a better season. Starting young develops a strong bond between players, which in return can strengthen the team as a whole.

Starting sophomore Caitlin Abernethy is also excited for the upcoming season, looking forward to conference play with a new team.

“Our goal is to practice hard every day which will hopefully result in a state championship,” Abernethy said.

Abernethy starts left field and bats 9th in the lineup. She also plays for a travel team that is continually furthering her skill.

“I feel that we all get along with each other, which is important, and I think we will learn to play together as the season goes on,” Abernethy said.

Being a team often takes more than practices together. All of the players have to be comfortable speaking and being around each other in order for game play to reach a peak performance.

“The difficult thing with this group is they are introverts. It is a hard thing to communicate, so we practice that everyday,” Coach Nealan Chandler said.

Communication skills are essential in building a strong offense and defense in a team sport. Speaking to teammates helps the flow of the game.

The team is also working on developing more advanced skills to help them accomplish their goal of a state title.

“ [The ideal player is] someone who thinks of the team first, not themselves or their needs,” Chandler said. “They will do anything I ask them to do with no attitude. Someone who is vocal and supporting their teammates.”

Team play is all about trusting other players and their skills. The ideal player can easily achieved with a young team because the players can be modeled by the coaches and experiences.

“…The girls come everyday looking to learn something new, they are always upbeat. We have to work everyday,” Chandler said.

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