In the heat of a season filled with adversity and disappointment, the Dutch Fork varsity softball team looks to hit its stride as the playoffs loom.
In the heat of a season filled with adversity and disappointment, the Dutch Fork varsity softball team looks to hit its stride as the playoffs loom. The softball team had high hopes coming into this season, but those hopes were quickly derailed by injuries to integral members of the team.
“We are currently 5-6 overall and 3-3 in the region,” head coach Laurie Epps said. “We’ve battled a lot of injuries to the team this season so our goal is to have everyone healthy for the playoffs and be playing our best ball at the end of the season.”
While this season has been a struggle, the players know that everything can change when the playoffs start.
“…Going into this season we wanted to win region or at least be in the top two and also make a strong run into the playoffs,” junior Meghan Murphy said. “We’re third in the region now so we’ve struggled meeting our goal there but we’re still really capable of making our strong playoff run and winning a state championship. We just have to put it all together.”
Some of the struggles the team have had this season can be attributed to how young and inexperienced the team is. With only six upperclassmen on the roster, mistakes are expected from such a young team.
Second baseman and outfielder Sydney Bachman- one of the few seniors on the team- has put the pressure on herself to attempt to lead the team to fulfill their hopes they had at the beginning of the season.
“ With this season being my last, I’ve really tried to focus on being a leader for my teammates,” Sydney said. “Whether it’s vocally or lead by example, I make an effort to try to get everyone together and playing up to their capabilities.”
Even with the struggles, the team has continued to grow and show maturity throughout a tough season.
“This year’s team has faced a lot of adversity probably more than any other team I’ve coached at Dutch Fork,” Coach Epps said. “The team plays hard and never gives up no matter the situation. The team has grown tremendously in terms of focus and desire and everyone has stepped up to the challenges and put the team first. One word to describe this team would definitely be committed.”
One of the reasons for the team’s resilience is the tight bond that the girls have built while playing together.
“Off the field we have a lot of different personalities, some of us hang out in our free time but we all get along pretty well and on the field,” Meghan said. “We’re all stay pretty focused. Some of us talk more than others, while others lead more by example but it all works pretty well together.”
This bond that the team has created for itself is something that can propel them to success during the playoffs.
“I’ve learned a lot of life lessons from playing a team sport and I’ve made friends and relationships I won’t ever forget,” Sydney said. “I want this to last as long as it can and that means we have to be playing our best leading into the playoffs. It will be a challenge but adversity is something we have become accustomed to through this season.”
Story by Josh German, Trey Martin, and Sam Aaron
Photo courtesy of Go Flash Win