Softball swings into playoffs

Softball swings into playoffs

Photo by Maddie Patton

Laura Jones, Staff Writer

The girls’ softball team has made it into the playoffs after six wins, nine losses and one tie on record. They tied with Southlake on Feb. 5, in the closest game of the season. One of the worst losses was against Lewisville, with a score of 0-9. However, on April 18, they crushed Allen with a 17-0 score.

“The desire and goal at the beginning of every season is to end up being district champs,” junior  Jennifer Puchala said. “We made our run for it and came up games shy, but Coach Zea always reminded us that we didn’t have to be first in district, we just had to make it into the playoffs.”

The team practiced to make sure their dreams of making playoffs came true.

“The average practice for us consisted of all aspects of the game,” Puchala said. “We warmed up by throwing every day and outfield hitting. Some days we even went back to basics and used soft paddles to work on techniques. Afterwards, we would switch and outfield would take fly balls as we hit. Then, at the end of practice we would come together for team drills and do live hitting on the field.”

When the regular softball season started, the girls didn’t start off very well according to Avery.

“We had some rough patches in the beginning. But came out strong when district started,” junior Katelyn Avery said. “We beat Allen to go to playoffs and our JV team won district that night.”

Before every game, the team takes time to honor some pre-game traditions and team building activities.

“We played the cow game every practice before district games,” Puchala said. “It is always upperclassmen vs. lowerclassmen. We set a stuffed cow in a bucket, throw the ball at it and try to hit it. Another tradition we have is the cheer we do before every game. Also, in the dugout, we have a tradition bag that has karma monkeys, our white board, the roster holder, the Chik-fil-a cow and a big link with smaller links representing each player on the team. The big link that holds it together says ‘Never, never, never give up.’’

Although the season is not over yet, some of the players have made favorite memories so far.

“My favorite memory this season was traveling to Bryan with the team,” Puchala said. “We got to stay in a hotel, play a bunch of softball and make memories that will definitely last a lifetime. As a team, we were able to form bonds that helped us win games when it came down to those final innings.”

Reflecting on this past season, some players can think of some key aspects of the game they could have improved on this season.

“Personally, I think I could’ve put in more time outside of practice to perfect my game in the areas that I struggled in,” Puchala said. “Hitting was definitely a weak point for me this season, so hopefully with all the practice we do, I’m able to come out stronger next year.”

The team won their first playoff game on Monday, April 29 against Lake Highlands. They won their best-of-three seires against Rockwall Heath on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4 with a score of 6-2, and the second game with a score of 11-3.

“We are planning on keeping a positive attitude and never underestimating a team,” Avery said. “We will keep working hard in practice and take it one game at a time.”