Jonathan Alder Softball in Full Swing

Jonathan+Alder+Softball+in+Full+Swing

Emma Van Winkle, Staff Writer

Spring is finally here and with warmer weather comes spring sports. The Jonathan Alder Girls softball team had their very first scrimmage of the season March 10th against West Jefferson, winning with a score of 6-0. Their first game of the season was on March 30th against Bishop Hartley, winning with a score of 14-1. Coming from winning the D2 state championship in 2019 and not playing at all in 2020, the girls are ready to take on this season. 

The season is very different from past years due to COVID-19 restrictions. “We don’t have to wear masks in the field, its personal preference if you wear it in the field,” says Junior Kylie King. “But in the dugout it’s kinda hard to socially distance. With 16 girls in the dugout, we have to wear masks in there and any time we’re in proximity to each other.”

Sophomore Danielle Phipps, did not get a freshman season meaning this will be her very first season on the high school team. “Last year was tough for everyone… In a blink of an eye it was over. I’m just excited to get back on the field and have fun with a great group of girls.”

King has been a part of the softball team since her freshman year; she is a catcher as well as a team captain. Team dynamic is a big part of winning and being successful, she says. “Unlike a lot of the other sports, upperclassmen and underclassmen all get along really well on the softball team, which is what we need to rally together and win these games.” 

Senior Erin Coffey played her freshman year and was planning on playing last year before the season was postponed, then cancelled. She agrees with King that getting along is a big part of Alder softball, Coffey says “I love [the team], we are a family, we’re always talking, may it be the game, or just chatting. We always have someone to go to. And we’re all ready to have fun this year!” 

Coffey is the only senior on the team this year. “It’s very strange,” she says, “and it can be tough because our freshmen are really missing out on having a good group of seniors to show them the ropes, but lucky for all of us, this year’s juniors have really stepped up, for both me and the team to help lead us. They won state champs their freshman year, and every one of them are great leaders who have had a genuine love for the sport their whole lives.” 

Having passion for a sport is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to winning and being the best; 

The varsity team at posing for a picture at their game against Indian Lake

prepared is also a big key. Being prepared in general can make or break a season, King says. “Our coaches set us up to be the most prepared we can possibly be and if they find something that we aren’t as prepared in we always go over it at practice. Especially our coaching staff, we’re always prepared for stuff even if we never have it in a game situation.” 

Preparation is key when it comes to games, Phipps says “We are facing a lot of good teams in and out of our conference, but I feel like Mechanicsburg and Ben Logan will be two of [the] several tough teams we will face this season.”

The pandemic has opened eyes to many about how important it is to stay healthy, work together as a team and preserve. “I am feeling good about this season, we are a young team, but I feel like we have greatly improved in a short amount of time.” Says Phipps “We have all been working very hard and putting a lot of effort to get ready for this season.” 

King has similar feelings when it comes to last season being cancelled and this season having restrictions. “COVID-19 made all of us realize that it can be taken away from you so easily so getting the chance to play this year.” Says King “Even if we have to wear masks, social distance, it’s still an amazing opportunity, and I’m so grateful that I get to play the game I love.”