The future of the varsity softball teams

Despite the complications the coaches believed they would have to face at pitcher this year, sophomore Julia Rhee and senior Cecie Bassett have successfully taken over the pitching duties. “Both have accepted their new role beautifully and they have accepted it for the better of the team,” said Coach Brent McGuire. “Their attitudes have been outstanding. Julia has won 90 percent of the games that she has pitched for us. In terms of victory sense, I think we have won seven games and she has had five of those wins.”

Bassett, another one of the softball team’s star pitchers this year has also done an incredible job so far this season with her pitching records. “Cecie has also been outstanding. For example, she was the winning pitcher against Redan High School on September 13th,” said McGuire. “They have done everything and more that we’ve asked out of them.”

Despite their current extraordinary pitching accomplishments this year, pitching has never been an important role that Bassett and Rhee have focused on in their past softball careers. For Rhee, playing second base and left fielder are her true positions in the sport, more specifically when playing on her travel teams. As for Bassett, her whole softball career at Westminster has always been playing second starting baseman on the team. “It has definitely been a tough job since Meredith and Evie had such great pitching careers at Westminster and it was a big task to step in and fill the hole they had left after graduation,” said Rhee. “Although, I will say Bassett and I have been sharing the pitching work load and I think we have been doing pretty well about that.”

Although the BatCats have been hit by some unfortunate weather, they have continued to show their progression throughout their season by showing up to practice ready to work hard and learn. Even after having six games rained out this season, the team is still keeping their heads up and are more focused on the games that will determine the region seating such as playing against Lovett and Pace. “We have had six games rained out this year and they’ve all been against real quality teams,” said McGuire. “It’s the most in any season of my 18 years at Westminster coaching. Yes, very unusual weather patterns we’ve had and it’s affected us.”

Regardless of the weather, the girls have continued to show great teamwork through the leadership of senior team captains, Kate Carson and Bassett. From the school classrooms to the softball field, Carson and Bassett have been working relentlessly on new and creative team bonding activities that will help them become closer not just as teammates or friends but as a family. “It’s great because I’ve been given some pretty cool leadership opportunities as one of the captains on the softball team,” said Carson. “It’s fun having everybody younger than you because you get to figure out how to get everyone to come together as a team on and off the field and plan get together and other special events.”

Team coaches, McGuire, Bill Caldwell, and Joanna Kay have also been tirelessly working on goals they want to focus on for this season, even if that means changing the strategy of the coaching in order for the team to advance to the state playoffs. While working on their offensive side, the coaches have seen tremendous improvement since the start of the first softball practice held on Aug. 1. McGuire agreed as he said, “Even though I have to be more patient and I’ve had to teach the game a little bit more, they are one of the hardest working teams I ever coached at Westminster. And again, that’s over an 18 year period. It’s been kind of a step by step with a little more patience involved because I understand that this is a young team and it’s going to take a little bit of time for it to all come together,” said McGuire. “But these kids are very, very work ethic oriented and are as good as I’ve ever had.”

A new addition to the team, Coach Kay, who has taken the spot of former Westminster softball coach, Kasey Clonts, has noticed the strong commitments each of the girls have made to each other for the better of the team through their determination and hard work. “It has been an incredible opportunity for me to see these girls’ growth already this season,” said Kay. “They have shown a tremendous amount of maturity in their ability to know when to joke around and when to be serious during both practices and games. It’s been great watching these girls playing a sport they love with the girls they love.”

Jenna Brown, a sophomore and fellow softball player, and Carson both agree that each girl has brought their own flair to the team and has made this year’s softball experience all the more unique in comparison to previous years. “Each of my teammates are incredibly talented and we, as a team, want to encourage them to use their talents by cheering them on and keeping up the spirit in the dugout,” said Brown. “We try to encourage and hype up our teammates when they are up to bat and honestly, it gets me hyped up as well.”

Adding to Brown’s comment, Rhee went into further detail on her love towards her teammates, as Rhee said, “Softball practices and games are the highlight of my day. I look forward to them and spending time with my teammates and cheering them on,” said Rhee. “Every second we spend time together, everyone is always laughing and having fun.”