Softball Ready for the Season Ahead

By Kyle Cusick, Sports Editor — As softball gets into full swing, the team hopes to match, or even surpass, their unprecedented success from last season.

Although they did not win the Federal League, the softball team still managed to make it farther in the state tournament than any other GlenOak softball team in the past. They cruised all the way to the final four before suffering a devastating walkoff loss. Last year’s deep playoff run was a result of a team coming together and good timing. Everybody caught fire and they played as if they were unbeatable.

“They got into a groove,” assistant coach Sarah Rante said. “The pitcher was doing well, the bats were doing well, they really came together as a team.”

This year’s team is in a good position to repeat the deep playoff run of last year’s team. There are many returning lettermen and this team knows they must take advantage of this season. They have enough potential to go far again, but the team is very different from last year and will have take a different course to achieve the same success, according to coach Rante.

“One of our strengths is that we have a lot of upperclassmen,” center fielder Sarah Seatter said. “Our team chemistry is impeccable.”

Five of the nine starters are seniors. The rest of the starting lineup consists of three juniors and one sophomore.

“The younger players have really stepped up to fill the shoes of the seniors that left,” shortstop Madison Corrick said. “The seniors push the younger players and they push us back.”

The atmosphere of this year’s team is significantly different than last year’s team. With such a heavier presence of seniors this team has a much closer knit relationship on and off the field. Good team chemistry can play a major role in how well a team performs.

“This year we have a really strong and close group of seniors,” Rante said. “They have been playing together for a long time, and that goes along way in a sport like softball.”

These expectations, rightfully placed on this team, are giving the players a drive to excel this season. It will not be a cakewalk by any means. The Federal League, arguably the best high school softball league in the state, looks to be competitive again this season. Since 2006, the Federal League has claimed six division one state championships; more than any other league in the state. Pile that on top of the tough out of league schedule, which includes opponents such as last year’s state runner up Lebanon, this softball team has a lot on its plate.

“The Federal League will be tough, it always is,” Seatter said. “Up until last year there was a long stretch where the Federal League champions went on to win the state championship in that season.”

In a sport like softball, when anything can happen and anybody can beat anybody, key team characteristics such as chemistry and experience are crucial factors in deciding how far a team will go in the playoffs.

Madison Corrick

Expectations- people expect a lot out of us so we have to work hard in practices, but we know we can win

Expectations for self and team- potential to go just as far as last year it’s just whether our team steps up and plays to our ability or not. Like we lost our pitcher but otani stepped up

Younger players- yeah so otani really stepped up with her pitching to fill erin’s shoes. I had to be shortstop to fill in taylor’s role. Seniors push the younger players and they push us

Coach Rante

Deep playoff run- they got into a groove pitcher was doing well bats were doing well they came together as a team

Carry over- we don’t have too many newer players i think we have potential to go that far again but we are completely different team and we need to play like that never happens\

Special about this year team- really strong group of seniors, really close, been playing together a long time that will add to the team this year

Sarah Seatter

Lost in final four.

We lost Erin Allison, she was our stud pitcher, but Olivia Otani is doing a good job of filling her shoes.

The federal league will be tough, it always is. Up until last year the federal league champion usually won the state championship.

One of our strengths is that we have a lot of upperclassmen. We have impeccable team chemistry.

[Updated Aug. 19, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]