“Out for blood”

Varsity softball team rears after loss to Warrenton, prepares for district tournament on 5th


Sydney Robbins

Pitcher #6 Loren Harrison, junior, whirls a fastball to an opposing batter from Warrenton High while 1st baseman #15 Lizzie Orf prepares for the potential play. The team works hard to maintain seamless play and preparation throughout the duration of their games.

Garrett Allen, Discover Editor

Following a rare 10-7 loss to Warrenton High last Friday on the 29th, the varsity softball team has relentlessly been preparing for their initial game against FZW in the 2017 District Tournament hosted at FHC this Thursday.

The team fell to FZW, a large and reputable team, last year at districts, and is determined to rise above them through the tournament to state, despite their surprising loss last Friday. Before then, when the team had last played Warrenton, they had beat them by mercy rule – 20 runs ahead by three innings or 10 runs ahead by 5.

Last Friday’s game was the team’s senior night at FHC, where around half the varsity team’s members received recognition for their (largely) four-year spans playing together. For second baseman Madison Bixler, senior, it was a night to be together.

“Since it was our senior night, all the seniors got to play together,” Bixler said. “It was special because we’ve been playing together for a long time.”

On the other hand, however, were a myriad of errors that contributed to the team’s loss against what was previously an unchallenging team. For catcher Kaitlyn Chadwick, senior, there was much to work on.

“We made a bunch of errors; we didn’t back each other up, and our pitching was off,” Chadwick said. “They were [a more competent team] last year, but they lost all of their seniors, so this year they shouldn’t have been [a very good team].”

The game, according to Chadwick, had numerous ups and downs.

“We were down 2-0, but came back 7-7 in an inning. Everyone was together and we were all there, and after that inning we got to the field and everyone was playing really flat; the dynamic definitely wasn’t there,” she said. “Everyone was just going through the motions, and we ended up losing.”

To regroup after the loss, changes have been made to the team’s dynamic in preparation for the beginning of the state circuit.

“We switched a bunch of players in the infield, so we’re working on getting them prepped before districts to make sure they understand the plays we’ve been working on,” Chadwick said. “We’re [also] definitely going to let our pitchers have a break; they’ve been pitching all season, and we only have two.”

Before districts, however, the team has had time to reflect on what makes their sport as intense and cutthroat as it is. To pitcher Alyssa Kolkmeyer, junior, while the season is on, it’s everything.

“You really don’t think about anything else,” Kolkmeyer said. “[Softball] takes you away from everything. “

To describe the essence of the game in three words, Kolkmeyer called the sport “fast-paced and intense.”

“One mistake can change an entire game, so you have to make everything count,” she said.

For Bixler, it was about “fun, fun, and fun,” a sport she enjoys the family dynamic of more than anything.

“[I like playing softball] because it helps me become a team player, and it teaches you a lot more than just the skills that you need,” she said. “It makes you like a family; it’s like you have many sisters.”

“You’re with them all the time, because you really have to be [a family],” Chadwick added.

For Chadwick, softball can be described by “aggressiveness, family, and sacrifice,” and remains one of the most intense sports she’s seen.

“There’s a different level between softball players and most other sports,” she said. “We’re out for blood; we want to win. I feel like we aren’t noticed enough. In general, softball is one of the more common girls sports, and the record should show that this year is one of our best years.”

The team’s current record, 15-8, stands at approximately double wins than losses, a ratio unseen for years. Going into districts this Thursday, they expect to advance past victorious, possibly to state and the Final Four.

“I expect district champs, honestly,” Chadwick said. “We have it in us.”


Twitter: https://twitter.com/fhcspartansb?lang=en


UPDATE: Senior Lindsey Powell broke the all-time school record on Monday for home runs with her 7th this year, and 14th of her career, a milestone achievement.