Softball Team Looks for Improvement

Allison DiFonzo, Features Managing Editor

One of the benefits of attending a small school like RHS is the increased opportunity to play varsity sports as early as freshman year. This year’s varsity softball team is one of the youngest in memory; in fact, over half of the players are new to varsity.

Of the 14 players on the 2017 team, only six are returning. This creates new and unexpected challenges for the team.

“There is going to be a steep learning curve for the new girls because some of them are just learning the basics of the game,” senior captain Hannah Sarsony said. “I think it will take longer for this year’s team to learn to play together, but once we do, I expect the team to be more competitive as the season goes on.”

The team is coached by MCPS teacher Matthew Quinn. This is his fifth year coaching the girls varsity softball team.

“We have some excellent returners leading our team this year, but we have a lot of newcomers that will need to get comfortable with varsity level softball,” Quinn said.”This is the first year I have ever kept five freshmen on varsity, but I have a lot of faith that it will payoff for our program both this year and in the long run as long as each girl continues to work hard and play the game.”

When asked about the young team, Quinn said that this year will be viewed by the team as a “reloading” year and that the team will get better and compete in every game.

“I have a lot of confidence in my team,” Quinn said.

The strongest returners have been looked upon as leaders by the younger girls and are expected to carry the team this season. With seniors Maggie Reese at first base and Hannah Sarsony in center field, and juniors Brady Doyle at catcher and Kelly DiFonzo at pitcher, coach Quinn expects a big year. Their leadership has been apparent this season and has contributed to the development of the team.

“We have a young, new team, but what we lack in experience, we make up for in energy and enthusiasm,” freshman Mary Pankowski said. “The captains have been giving us tips and answering a lot of questions and we’ve been staying overtime at practice and working really hard. The mindset of the team is a willingness to learn and come ready to play everyday and work as a team.”

The team is not doing as well as anticipated this season as they currently hold a 1-5 record. A majority of the team’s practices are spent going over the basics of the game and practicing basic skills and fundamentals with the new players.