Softball players, coach discuss how team bonding carried through season


CRACK OF THE BAT A split second before she cracks the ball, Makailah Robinson, 9, takes a step to send the softball toward the outfield on Friday, March 10. Photo by Daylin Mitchell-Cochran, 12

When she steps on the field, it’s only positive thoughts going through her mind. She doesn’t think about if the team is down, or if the other team has several runs on them. She thinks about what she can control, what she wants to accomplish with this at bat, with this defense inning.

During her second year on the varsity softball team, Jaydah Parker, 10, said the season has helped her with relationships with the people around her and team building.

“Softball has helped me because of the community that we build with our team,” Parker said. “Everybody’s uplifting and positive, and it makes me feel good. Playing on a team makes me realize that there are different personalities and everybody’s different, so it makes me get used to people, so it’s easier to come to school and talk to people.”

Parker said that her coach has made her experience more enjoyable because she knows that sh’s very hard on myself, and she continues to push her every day when challenges come.

“This year we really had to focus on character and team building, and the girls really took a hold of that and came together as a team to lift each other up,” softball coach Lindsey Mercer said. “I love seeing them cheer for each other in the dugout. There were a couple of games where they were leaping over the railing just cheering for each other and supporting one another.”

Along with coaches, sophomore player Hannah Herrera said her team’s relationship is supportive and loving.

“My relationship with my teammates is very special,” Herrera said. “We all love each other in a way that we argue sometimes, but when we step on the field, we all have each other’s back. We support one another by always being there for each other and helping each other out when we are struggling. It’s important to respect each other’s boundaries so no one gets to irritated with each other.”

Despite any challenges the athletes face, Herrera said she can use the skills she’s learned from the team in other aspects of her life.

“It’s really taught me how to work through difficult times, and work together as a team, and that you really can’t get through much alone,” Herrera said. “You always need support from other [players.]”

The Lady Rangers 2023 season started on  Saturday, Jan. 28, where many student-athletes tried out that are ready to play and have some fun.

With the ending record at 9 – 15 – 1, the Lady Rangers look to finish the season strong, and sophomore Abigaelle Soto said though they’ve had a rough season, her teammates never fail to cheer each other on.

“You make lifetime friends and it’s okay to make mistakes,” Soto said. “I shake it off and forget about it. I’ll get the next one, it’s just a ball it doesn’t determine the game.”

Parker said something she has learned is that it’s OK to make mistakes and she knows there are other opportunities for improvement.

“A life lesson I’ve learned is that it’s okay to mess up; that’s there always chances that come after that,” Parker said. “Coping with a bad play or bad game I tell myself that I’m okay and the next play and next game always matters. When I step out onto the field it’s a positive mindset it’s not ‘don’t do this’ or ‘you can’t do this.’ It’s just, ‘I want to do this. I want to do that.’”