Softball team starts a new season

Westminster’s varsity softball team is looking to replicate their success from previous years, as last year’s team finished with a strong record of 22-6. Duplicating their success will be challenging, as last year’s team was strong.

“We got along well as a team last year, but we got 2nd in region, which was kind of disappointing,” said senior pitcher Maya Sinha.

“We came up a little short in the state playoffs,” said head coach Brent Mcguire. “We were looking to advance a little further.”

It will be challenging to replace last year’s star pitcher, Emily Bassett. “For three years, [she] was the go to pitcher,” said McGuire. “She won us a lot of ballgames.”

Although the main pitcher is gone, the team feels confident in their pitching staff. “There’s four pitchers this year. We definitely have a lot of depth,” said Sinha. Sinha, through her first six starts is 4-0. Pitcher Meredith Ficery is also rolling at a 3-0 record through her first five starts, contributing to the team’s 10-2 overall start to the season.

“In baseball you say you have a three-man rotation, well in softball right now we’ve got a three women rotation going on,” said McGuire. “We feel confident we can pitch them at anytime and during any situation.”

Offense has been a bright spot on the team. “We are a really good hitting team. We usually put up a lot of runs,” said Sinha.

“Our batting order perhaps [is] the best nine hitters we’ve had in our program,” said McGuire. The cats are currently averaging around 10 runs a game. Senior Allison Greenberg is hitting .683 through her first 41 plate appearances. Alaina Ducre also added 22 RBI through the first 12 games. There are nine hitters on the team hitting over .320.

“Our teams rolls through our offense. We’ve put up some big numbers, some strong batting averages all over,” said McGuire.

Through the first couple of games, the team has been pleased with their efforts. “I think overall the season has been great,” said freshman Alex Bradham. “We have had some really good competitive games.”

“The younger people have stepped up, and we have a lot of seniors this year,” said Sinha.

The team chemistry has also been great so far. “Being one of two freshmen isn’t really a big deal,” said Bradham. “Everyone is so nice and the team chemistry is great so most of the time it doesn’t even feel like I am a freshman.”

“I think our chemistry is still developing,” said McGuire. But, McGuire is pleased with the improvement.

“It has made tremendous growth and that’s what you want out of a team, especially once you head down the home stretch like we are doing right now.”

McGuire attributes the chemistry to the seniors. “We have tremendous leadership. We have five seniors on our team that have all had lots of state playoff appearances,” said McGuire. “The chemistry starts with our leadership amongst our five seniors and they’ve done a great job of modeling us and leading us through the season thus far.”

The Wildcats made it to Columbus, where the Elite 8 is held, for the first time in school history in 2014, and that’s the primary goal for this year.

“I haven’t been on the team very long so don’t know how the team wants to compare to years before, but I do know that one of the main goals of the team is going to Columbus for the state tournament,” said Bradham. “We believe that we can make it there and be successful.”

After playing a few games this season, there are obviously some aspects the Wildcats can improve on. “It’s just the beginning of the season, so there are still some things we need to work on,” said Bradham.

“Our chemistry is not where we would like it to be defensively,” said McGuire. “We’re getting close but our defense has let us down in our two losses.”

GHSA introduced a new sport, slow pitch softball, that will be played in the spring,

“I didn’t know that,” said Sinha. “It’s kind of a thing for older people, I don’t know anyone our age that plays slow pitch.”

McGuire doesn’t think fielding a team will be possible. “I think our girls play so many different spring sports like lacrosse, tennis, and soccer, that I’m not sure if we would be able to field a team,” said McGuire.