By Alyssa Daniels
March 4 marked the official start of the 2019 softball season for the Lady Warriors. The athletes and coaches have been hard at work at practices to bring their best step forward on the field.
Softball coach Katie Mitchell has been a CPCSC teacher for seven years and the head softball coach for five years.
Mitchell decided to coach because she loves the game and she is passionate about seeing the athletes become great athletes and great people. Every coach wants to see their team improve from the last season. Mitchell explained what she is looking forward to see in the season.
“We have a lot of newcomers competing for spots and are looking forward to seeing how aggressive we can be offensively, especially on the bases,” Mitchell said.
Some people think that softball is just throwing a ball and hitting it and running bases, but Mitchell explained it’s more difficult than that.
“As Ted Williams said, ‘The hardest thing to do in baseball (or softball) is hit a round ball with a round bat, squarely.’ In addition, you have about three seconds to make any play and about a half second to decide whether to swing or not,” Mitchell said.
Junior Delanie Gourley has been involved in softball for eight years and she currently plays pitcher. She decided to join because her sister was good at the game and she wanted to be just like her.
Gourley also does cheer when she’s not at softball but she doesn’t find it difficult to transition between the two because she’s been involved in both from a young age.
“I cheer and I play travel softball so it’s not hard switching…[back and forth] …and I’ve been switching back and forth since I was eight,” Gourley said.
Junior Abbigail Nacio has been playing softball for nine years. The positions she plays are catcher, first baseman and third baseman. For the past two years, Nacio has won the Versatility Award, she received this award because she played many positions during the season and she was always ready when needed to be to play the positions.
Nacio’s involvement in the sport for many years has given her a large support base with her coaches being her greatest influence.
“Every practice or every game, they are always pushing me to do better and every young athlete needs a coach to push them,” Nacio said.
There is a program called the REACH Program that Whiteland softball teaches to different girls in the corporation and each letter stands for something important to the team.
“REACH is our standard of character and program expectation we want every athlete to represent. Each letter stands for something important to our team: R-Respect (for coaches, teammates, our school, teachers, families, and our community) E-Effort (full on and off the field) A-Attitude (coachable, positive, competitive) C-Commitment (to the program, in season and out of season) H-Heart (for the love of the game),” Mitchell said.
Mitchell also has something she would like to say to all of her athletes for the season.
“We absolutely cannot wait to see what you will do this season. We are so excited!” Mitchell said.
Both the athletes and the coaches have the same goals for the team, to win more games and to beat their record of 6-20 from last year and to make it further in sectionals.
The girls have been putting in a lot of work preparing for the season; good luck to the coaches and the athletes on their first game on March 26 at Center Grove.