Through COVID changes and cancellations, Softball has stayed successful in 2021. In 2020 softball was only able to play two games before the season was canceled due to COVID. Both games were tough losses for our girls, losing 15-0 the first game and 14-0 in the second. In the first half of 2021, it looked like nothing had changed for softball as they were only able to win one of their four first games. After a rough start, it was like a switch flipped in April, our Falcons went 6-2 in April including three straight wins against Jordan, Hillside and Cary.
I asked Head Coach Anna Loscko about what caused the turnaround in their season and she attributed it to a change in energy in a game against Cary: “We had a heartbreaking loss to them in the beginning of the season and my girls were out for redemption. During the game our energy was INSANE! Every pitch every girl was on the fence cheering on her teammates. That game has turned our season around!”
Energy may not be the only thing that has helped this team succeed down the stretch, our Falcons have a very talented team with a good mix of veterans and young talent. This year the Falcons started multiple freshmen, something unusual for a varsity team. When Coach Loscko was asked about her roster she gave an enthusiastic response, stating that: “I have so many GREAT players worth mentioning. My starting Pitcher, Katelyn Jones, is a four-year varsity player. She is solid both on the field and up to bat, and I am so sad to see her leave at the end of the season. I have three freshmen starting in the infield this year, something that is a little unusual to a varsity team. Mary Buckner, Chloe Vestal, and Hannah Richardson act as vacuums for us in the infield and I am really excited to see them excel in the years to come! There is no one better than Reagan Morris in the outfield. She is a junior this year and I am very thankful I get her again next year! Our team has all-around strong bats, and without those, we wouldn’t have any W’s. Ava Kaiseratt has come in off the bench now twice to get a 2 out hit for us to start a rally. I really wish I could talk about everyone!” While this team is talented they are also very young and set to have twelve returning players next year. Green Hope Softball is set to have a good team for years to come.
Inexperienced and talented is something that can be said for the coaching staff as well. After her first season as head coach was cut short due to COVID, this is her first full season coaching, and one she’s done pretty well in. Coach Loscko said that one of her main goals is to give her players a good softball experience like the one she had herself as she said: “Last year ended so abruptly and we never felt like we had any closure. I am beyond grateful to have a season this year. So I guess I am most excited that the girls get to play! Softball was always one of my favorite sports in high school and college, and I have so many memories from playing. I hope the girls walk away from their high school softball experience with the same!”
Inexperience hasn’t been the only speed bump for softball, in the words of Coach Loscko, “COVID has put a damper on our season”. Due to COVID changes, the softball season was cut short and the players have to wear masks and social distance in the dugout. Coach Loscko expressed that the ability to have fans -a rarity in 2021 high school sports, is what helped the team push through their season. While the fans still aren’t allowed at full capacity, they still showed full support while socially distancing in lawn chairs.
While their 2021 season may be over there’s still plenty more to come for Green Hope Softball!