Softball Season Heads Towards Home

Brianna Smith, Sports Editor

There’s nothing soft about the performance of this season’s varsity women’s softball team.

Whether they are catching, batting, or pitching a ball, the women are sure not to disappoint.

The team is composed of two freshmen, two sophomores, four juniors and seven seniors. Many of the seniors on the team have played softball for Rio since their freshman year.

Although a small team, with only 15 players, this season’s women have shown skill unlike any other team in the last few years.

“If we win 7 games this season, we will have won the most games by the softball team at Rio in 6 years,” said senior Kelsey Showler. “We only need one more win to reach this goal.”

Breaking this record only lays the foreground for more broken records in the future.

Coached by Chris Martinez, the father of two of the girls on the varsity team, the women train hard in practice to better their performance in games.

Practices cover a range of conditioning and drills. The women do hitting and fielding drills to improve their ball handling skills.

The team holds impressive statistics. Junior Sarah Murphy, despite her limited chances, has recorded the team’s only perfect fielding percentage. Similarly, senior Haley

Boyer holds the team’s second highest batting average of .361, behind sophomore Chelsea Martinez who bats .500.

As a team tradition, the girls wear a bow on their heads to each of their games and plan to keep this tradition alive.

The women all agree their camaraderie plays a vital part in their successes as a team. “I love playing because being on the field helps me forget about everything else going on and I like being with my friends every day,” said senior Kara Lavenda.

“One of our greatest strengths is that we are best friends and we can left each other’s spirits,” said Boyer.

As the player’s goals differ, they all see more wins in the future.

“We have five wins so far and we are all hoping we can get a even more to further beat last season’s record,” said Showler.

“My last year on the team I hope to win a lot of games and improve myself as a player,” said Lavenda.

The players are also very versatile in the positions they can play, which is required over the course of a long season.

“I play a lot of positions: left field, right field, catcher and first base. I like getting to alternate around,” said Lavenda.

As their season rounds the bases, the wins to come are next at bat.