Girls Varsity Softball team shares hopes for this season

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Last week, the Townsend Harris Girls Varsity Softball team had a strong start to their season, defeating Robert H. Goddard High School with a score of 16-1. Due to challenges posed by the COVID-19  pandemic, the team has not had a complete season since 2019. As their comeback season continues, the team shares their hopes and aspirations for the rest of this year. 

“This season, I’m looking forward to seeing the team develop. We have almost an entirely new team, and we haven’t played a full season since my freshman year,” senior Emily Blickhahn said.  “We’ve only had two weeks of practice so far, but they’re learning very quickly. I’m looking forward to seeing how we’ll play with a new team dynamic as the season goes on.”

This year, five new freshmen have joined the team. When asked about her adjustment to the team, freshman Eva Hannon said, “Everybody on this team is super welcoming, and this makes adjusting as a freshman so much easier. I’m really looking forward to meeting new people and being part of a new team environment.”

Alongside the newcomers, seniors who had joined the team their freshman year reflect on returning to the sport after the pandemic’s two-year interruption. Senior Berelyne Chalas said, “Given this is my senior year, I want to look back on this final season and simply say I had fun. I want to be proud of what my team and I accomplished. I want to leave the field with no regrets, knowing that the girls and I fought until the very end.”

Although the season has just begun, the girls expressed a strong sense of team unity. “Team bonding has been great. Since a lot of the people who joined the team had been in previous sports, we were all able to relate and get to know each other one way or another,” said junior Aissatou Lam. 

“Team bonding has been going pretty well. We have paired up with one another and shared a special moment where we all slid into our jerseys to commemorate the start of our season,” Berelyne said.  “Additionally, for each game, we continued our team tradition of writing an encouraging quote and putting it in our sock.”

When asked about the goals and hopes for this season, senior team captain and Classic editor Haley O’Toole said, “The team should walk on the field every day and enjoy every moment and let it become an outlet for them to put their worries aside. I hope to see the team strive and improve. The progress that everyone has made since tryouts is truly impressive, and I can’t wait to see where it takes us. I hope that the team has fun and creates memories that are everlasting.”

Emily also said, “We discussed putting our mistakes in the past and moving on when the next play starts because a lot of our players get in their own heads and continue to make the same mistakes.” 

“Softball is a game of communication, and you can’t play the game without it. The team goal is to always have fun and put 100% effort into every game and practice. Communication and motivation are key. You always root for your teammates and keep your head up no matter what,” said Haley.

Photos courtesy of Haley O’Toole