Varsity softball season underway

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Victoria Wendt, Staff Writer

Each spring, tryouts are held for RHS’ varsity softball team to determine the roster for the coming season. This year’s team has been decided and with the season quickly advancing, the team continues to work hard to develop their skills and generate results.

Head coach of five years, Laura Guzman, explains her process for getting her players ready each spring.

“I try and get the girls ready for the season by preparing them the best I can with knowledge of the game and basic fundamentals,” Guzman said.

Team captain, junior Rose Myers, plays shortstop and is also a pitcher. As a long-time travel softball and three-year varsity player, Myers is very strong. Myers discusses how she developed her skills.

“I play travel ball so I play softball basically year round,” Myers said. “I work hard over the winter in practice to make myself better and tweak my bad habits and also stay in shape for the season. It has helped me stay polished and able to do the easy stuff well and to make the hard plays that not everyone can make.”

The team is made up of players from all four grades with a wide variety of skill-levels, and not every player has as much experience as Myers. Emily Morrow made the varsity team as a freshman this year and although young, has earned a starting position at 3rd base. Morrow considers a limitation of hers and describes what she hopes to do to overcome it.

“I think my biggest weakness is that I don’t have as strong of a mental game as I would like to,” Morrow said. “An athlete’s mental game when facing an opponent is either a stronghold, or a weakness that destroys their whole game. I hope to improve those skills by letting my mistakes go and focusing on the next play.”

As the season progresses, coaches and players alike anxiously anticipate opportunities to get out onto the field and exhibit all they have worked and improved on since the previous season. Coach Guzman expresses what she is personally excited for this season.

“I am most excited about just being out on the field with the kids,” Guzman said. “They are all great girls and truly enjoy the game of softball.”

Last season, the softball program lost several key players including starting pitcher, Haley Lenderman, greatly altering much of the structure and makeup of the team. Coach Guzman discusses the significance of a pitcher’s position.

“Any girl who pitches at any age has an important role,” Guzman said. “Pitching is a huge factor in any team’s success and the RHS softball program has some nice, young talent.

RHS athletics compete in the top division level and in turn, face tough opposition. Second baseman and senior, Madison Vanderhoof, touches on the team’s biggest competitor.

“Lake Orion is probably our biggest upcoming competition,” Vanderhoof said. “They are undefeated so far and they have an amazing pitcher. We just will need to get our timing and get some hits.”

Team bonding is a yearly tradition for the varsity softball program and spending time together on and off the field contributes to the player’s chemistry and success. Functions and get-togethers after games and practices help improve both camaraderie and performance on the field.

“Our team has some traditions of team bonding,” Myers said. “We have a pasta party at the beginning of the season and do some get-to-know-you activities with each other. We also do a lot of team dinners throughout the year.”

With committed returners and promising young talent, the varsity program looks forward to continued growth throughout the remainder of the season. Coach Guzman is optimistic of the team’s ability to come together.

Every girl brings something to the team,”Guzman said. “Their abilities are stronger together than individually and when they work as one, great things can happen.”