When I was asked to give an update about the current Montrose Softball season, I was honest: “I love the team, but we don’t have much of a record — so I’m not sure if there is an update to give.” When I asked my teammates about their experience playing softball and being on the team, I realized I wasn’t actually being honest; I was being straight up pessimistic. My team reminded me why we love softball!
Ayana Murphy ‘19 (“Murph”) said, “Like age, a score is just a number.” Nothing could be more true for our team. Coach Hogan always says, “They’re the best team in the league, if you don’t focus on their record.” Every practice is filled with “I’LL FIX IT.” And, during each game, we are the loudest team when our players are up to bat. Cheers are heard for miles when a player reaches even first base. When they hit home, we are deafening.
Maddie Marcucci ‘19 , my dear catcher, said: “The softball team is full of amazing girls who support each other from the beginning of the game to the end. No matter what happens, my teammates always encourage me and help me to do my best.” I couldn’t agree more. Slacking is something this team just doesn’t do. A team that doesn’t work hard for each other, for themselves, and for their coach just isn’t a team. It’s a group of people tossing a ball around. That’s not fun. We yell at our batters, “THAT’S YOUR PLATE. PROTECT IT!” “GOOD EYE!” and “WAY TO TAKE A SWING.” In no world would we sit silently by as a teammate gets up to face down a pitcher.
Talking about the sport itself, Veronica Salvaggio ‘19 said: “It’s a mental sport, so picking up softball is different from picking up other sports. But we are always impressed with how talented our teammates are and how quickly they learn.” All sports are hard, but softball is a little more special. It’s a game that is physically taxing because it requires short sprints from base and base and dashes to stop or retrieve balls.
The game is also mentally taxing due its length. Games can stretch for what seems like forever. You must wait for each pitch; and, while the ball is play, you have to think fast and make decisions that affect the whole game. While I was correct in saying we haven’t had that long of a practice season, due to the long winter, I was unfair in not giving credit where it was due. Veronica is absolutely right in saying how impressive it is that we learn so fast. Each game is another learning opportunity. Another chance to get better, to lower the distance between each team’s score. One coach on another team we played a second time told Coach Hogan how impressed she was by our growth from the first time we played them.
Coach Hogan said: “I feel truly blessed to spend my afternoons with such an incredible group of young women. If heart and kindness won games, we would be undefeated. I can honestly say that each and every one of my players teaches me valuable life lessons each and every day.”
I echo the words of Coach in that this team benefits from everyone’s talents, from the rookies to the lifelong players. We are indeed blessed to have the coaches and the girls that we have on this team. This sport is not about the record, because numbers do not reflect the dirt we collect on our pants and in our gloves, the mud that dries on the bottom of our cleats, and the bruises we receive from stopped balls.
So, what is the softball update? We continue to work hard and to play harder and to have an amazing season. Come to McCarthy Field and add to our cheers!