With the season just getting started, the Brown County High School girls softball team is already ahead of the curve.
Almost everyone who showed up to the first practice March 6 attended regular open gyms with the team in the offseason, Head Coach Kevin Greve said.
“I wouldn’t say that they’re where we want them, even close — I’ll never say that — but a lot of girls got to hit the ground running because of that,” he said.
At the first practice, the team was already working on advanced drills.
“When you’re doing that on Day One, you can start really getting sophisticated with some of the things you want to do,” he said. “And again, that’s a testament to the girls.”
For the seniors, having a solid team at the start of the season gives them hope for the rest of it. Senior Vicky Kelp said the team as a whole is already playing at a high level.
“It’s exciting to know that we’re not really going to have to break it down to, you know, T-ball, like, back to the basics,” said senior Maddy Edds. “It just feels good to have that kind of flow and movement, and everyone just confident in themselves, which is good.”
Senior Faith Williams said she sees a lot of potential for this season. Last year, the team was held back by the loss of core players who graduated.
“We have a lot of utility players, where they can almost do anything,” she said.
“I know a lot of people who are like, ‘I’m a first baseman.’ No. This team, we’ll do whatever it takes to win this game.”
“I like the way it looks,” said senior Azhia Morgan. “I’m pretty confident in some of the younger girls. My little sister, she played with some of them, so I’ve watched them play travel ball, and I know their capability and what they have to offer for the team, so I’m excited to see what they bring.”
Trust the process
Greve is proud of the leadership he has seen from the four seniors so far.“They want to win now, and they want to do things, and they know that means togetherness amongst the team, and so far the four have done a really good job,” he said.
“The thing I keep telling the girls this year is ‘trust the process’ — that’s kind of our theme in a way,” Greve said.
“The process” is about every player and every play, Greve said. There is no sport in which one player can carry the team, especially softball.
“The girls are learning that we’re way better when every girl on the team is hitting, every girl is fielding clean, everybody’s doing what they’re supposed to do,” he said. “If all nine girls are in sync, rooting for each other, caring about each other and all the girls on our program, the sky’s the limit.”
That cohesion comes back to the trust the team already has developed so early, Williams said.
“We’re all really comfortable with each other. It’s almost like we didn’t need to make team chemistry; it was just there already,” she said.
A final season together is an emotional realization for the seniors.Edds recently finished her final season of basketball as an Eagle, and said she found herself crying when she had to say farewell to that team. She expects to have as much difficulty saying goodbye to the softball team.
Her wish for the season is to have every player come into every play of every game with all the intensity they can bring.
“I think when we get to the point where everyone wants it the same way, we can be unstoppable,” Edds said.
“That’s just all I want, is to just win some softball games, go out with a bang.”
Each senior has personal goals as well, from Edds, who wants to get more home runs and is shooting for a .500 batting average, to Morgan, who wants to hit her own home run, as well as snagging a home run from someone else as an outfielder.
“I want to steal more bases than anyone else on the team,” Kelp said.
“I want to win,” said Williams. “I want to win sectionals, I want to go to regionals, I want to win regionals, I want to go to semistate, I want to go all the way.
“I don’t want it to end, is basically what I’m saying.”
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Seniors: Maddy Edds, Vicky Kelp, Azhia Morgan, Faith Williams
Juniors: Kyla Halcomb, Katy Harsch, Jasmine Imming, Elizabeth Moore, Kara Payne, Emma Quackenbush
Sophomores: Izzy Allen, Gracie Bay, Ali Griffith, Rachel Kilby, Hailey Lane, Lexi Weddle
Freshmen: Whitney Clark, Delaney Herald, Aubrey Hollander, Adri Kritzer, Taylor Poling, Myka Snyder, Allison Stogsdill, Emma Summers