Softball is Starting a Successful Growing Year

Mary Musilek

With a solid start to the season, defeating both Cooper and Fridley in their first two games, the softball team is hopeful for a successful season despite the loss of so many players last year. This year’s varsity team has only three returning players, junior co-captains Meredith Gallagher, Maddy Gallagher, and Rachel Hoemke, but already the team is doing better than expected.
“There obviously is going to be much new this season after graduating eight of 11 players from last season’s team, but right from the start the girls have worked hard and definitely showed a lot of enthusiasm,” said head coach Adrian Wagner, “and we have a number of athletes on this year’s team who are all very versatile, so it will probably take a while to establish a set line-up and figure out exactly where everyone should be in the field.”
The coach isn’t the only one who knows how much it is going to take for the team to succeed this year after a big change in the roster. “We’ve been undefeated in our conference for the past two years so we have a lot to live up to. This year’s going to be really difficult, though. Spring Lake Park and Chisago Lakes are going to be really competitive,” said Meredith Gallagher.  

This year’s team is overall very young, but if every single member of the team contributes, the captains are hopeful that they can keep a winning record. “We’re just going to have to work hard,” said Meredith Gallagher.

Over spring break, the softball team traveled to Florida where they participated in spring training, playing teams from all over the country. “We played Eden Prairie three or four times but we also played a team from New Jersey and one from Kentucky,” said Meredith Gallagher, “and although we were a little inconsistent, overall the team played really well for never having played together before.”
“We’ve turned in a handful of outstanding plays already and have really helped ourselves with a number of double plays. We’re getting to some balls we maybe wouldn’t have gotten to in past years and that’s something that will help keep us in games this season,” said Wagner.  

Along with an improved defense, a number of girls have been swinging the bat very well in the early goings, and the coaches are hopeful that once the team gets a few of the others on track they should be pretty potent all the way through the order, said Wagner.

It was important for the team to get a few games in before the start of the regular season, but the Florida trip also held another purpose. “The most important thing about the trip was everyone getting to know everyone else, and we had a lot of fun together,” said Meredith Gallagher.

Even though the season had just begun, the team has already been faced with a challenge. Last year, the team really depended on Brittany Stewart’s pitching, and this year the team won’t have that to depend on, said Meredith Gallagher.  

Also, both varsity pitchers are already injured. Rachel Hoemke is out with back injuries and Maddy Gallagher is out with an inflamed rotator cuff and bursitis. “Amanda Johnson (a freshmen) got moved up from B Squad to be our pitcher, and she’s doing really well, but this year we also have to work a lot harder on our defense and hitting,” said Meredith Gallagher.

“Anyway you look at it, this is a new group, but I know they want nothing more than to build on the level of success we’ve established with the BSM softball program the last several years,” said Wagner.