Oct. 8, the softball team’s fall season wrapped up after playing five games. The overall 2023-2024 season has not ended, however, as the team will begin playing the second part of their season during February.
After only playing a few games, head coach Ron Ferrill said he sees how the team works together. He said games during the fall season are more like practices or scrimmages, as these games do not count towards the team’s record and are typically used by Ferrill to determine the strongest players.
While there were eight returning players this season, the majority of the team consisted of transfers and freshmen. Ferrill said he recognized the impact of the new players and has seen them begin to form relationships.
“We have six freshmen that are all coming from totally different places and six transfers who might think they have a good idea as to what is going on, but are learning that every coach does things a little differently,” Ferrill said. ‘It’s just so many different personalities and backgrounds coming together. at this point in time, we’re starting to see those bonds form.”
As a returning player, senior catcher and first baseman Nina Fenasci said she had a lot of hope for the team this year. Fenasci suffered from a quad injury earlier this year but continued to participate in practices and pinch hit in games.
While there were some minor bumps at the beginning of the season, Fenasci said the team has gotten along very well. Throughout the first few games, she said she appreciated the team’s honesty and the new players’ willingness to grow.
“As of right now, I think we are on a really good path. I think that both the freshmen and the transfers are mixing very well,” Fenasci said. “Our transfers are extremely hard workers. They’ve pushed the freshmen and others who may struggle to be better. I think that’s the culture that we have.”
Although Ferrill said he planned to continue to work on the team’s skills on the field, he also intended to increase the team’s work ethic during the offseason.
Ferrill said the team will be playing a harder schedule than they did last year, which will test their integrity.
“I want these girls to figure out how to work at a higher level. It’s a life lesson,” Ferrill said. “It all stems from work ethic and commitment to doing whatever they are doing at a high level. I believe I coach softball at a high enough level that if they are doing that, the softball part will take care of itself.”
Even though the team will not play during the winter, Fenasci said practices will continue. She said that during the off-season, Ferrill will work with the girls on strength training, conditioning, and deepening their knowledge of the sport.
While Fenasci said that the team had developed goals for the next season, she had also created a goal for herself: to better herself mentally and work to show herself she can accomplish difficult things.
“I want to keep a positive mindset and attitude this year. That will hopefully take me to the places I want to be,” Fenasci said. “I just want to continue working hard and I don’t want to slack off ever. I want to motivate myself to be 100% present and put 100% effort in all the time while I’m at softball.”
Overall, Ferrill said he was ready for the upcoming season and hoped that he could show the team their true potential.
“I love this group and we’re improving at a pretty rapid rate. I think making a jump in conference level would be realistic for us, and I’m extremely excited for the upcoming season,” Ferrill said.