Softball victorious in sectionals, moves on to state quarterfinals

Ella+Schouten+pitches+to+Battle+High+School+Oct.+18.+Photo+by+Ana+Manzano.+

Ella Schouten pitches to Battle High School Oct. 18. Photo by Ana Manzano.

Anjali Noel Ramesh

After entering the seventh inning tied at 4, the Bruins watched and waited as right fielder Anna Christ stepped up to the plate. With runners on second and third base, a hit from Christ would give the Bruins the edge they needed. The bat struck the ball as Christ knocked a three-run homerun over the right-field fence, giving the Bruins a 7-4 lead. Because Holt High School, the opposing team was unable to score again, the Bruins celebrated their sectionals victory, Wednesday Oct. 23. 

On Saturday, Oct. 26, the Bruins travel to St. Charles, Mo. to play against Francis Howell Central High School for the state quarterfinal game. 

Senior third baseman Chloe Simon said the key to the Bruins’ success was their ability to be resilient and optimistic after experiencing setbacks.

“The most difficult part of the game was making sure we didn’t lose our spirit when they hit the two home runs to tie [the score],” Simon said, “and instead to use that come back even stronger.”

Throughout the game, the Bruins both held the lead and lost it. During the bottom of the fifth inning, Holt scored two runs, taking control 4-2. After runs from a wild pitch and a sacrifice play, however, the Bruins tied 4-4. A double from senior shortstop Madison White set up the Bruins’ winning play.

For White, the team’s nature runs beyond the score. White said she has made new friends and grown closer with her old teammates throughout the season.

“Even if we get a little mad at each other, we know we’re doing our best for the team,” White said. “At this point we are having so much fun, and that really is the key, enjoying every moment of it.” 

Head coach Lisa Simmons said the strength of the team is its versatility, as any person could come off of the bench to play no matter the time or scenario. The main weakness, she said, is how the players judge their own abilities.

“I don’t think we have the confidence in ourselves that we should, and I still don’t think this team has peaked,” Simmons said. “[The players] are talented, and they need to believe that.”

Simmons, a first-year coach, works with several other new coaching staff members. She said herself and the team have handled uncomfortable situations by having tough conversations and learn to understand each other better. Winning the last few essential games helped the team self-confidence, but the team still hasn’t peaked, Simmons said.

“The kids have had to get used to my style of coaching and what is expected of them,” Simmons said. “We’ve grown so much and have gained so much trust in one another as the season has gone on.”

Simon agrees with Simmons that belief in the players and coaches helped the success of the team. This experience specifically taught her that good chemistry is the backbone of a strong team.

“Building relationships with teammates I wouldn’t have gotten to know otherwise is one of the most important things about being on a team,” Simon said. “And with the trust and responsibility that comes along with it, we can overcome anything.”

Looking to the competition ahead, Simon said the team should disregard the pressure and focus on playing to the best of their ability.

“We’re just gonna treat this next game as any other because the game is all about fundamentals,” Simon said. “When we start thinking too much about it is when we start messing up.”

How does the teamwork aspect impact competitive athletics? Let us know in the comments below.