Lady Bulldogs softball team is preparing for the season
Coach Kim Maher
By Rachel Masson
With some teams having already started playing games, the Lady Bulldogs Softball team is preparing for their season.
Head coach Kim Maher and the Lady Bulldogs have been practicing for months in anticipation of having a season after their 2020 season was cancelled about halfway through. Maher said that she felt sad for last year’s seniors because their season was cancelled.
“It was heartbreaking for them, because I know that they had really put a lot into it that year and really wanted to leave their mark,” Maher said. “I just, I felt bad for them, you know?”
Although last year’s seniors did not get to finish out their senior year, Maher is thankful that her players got an extra year of eligibility. She said that most players came back except for one, Saige Vandiver, who pursued physical therapy school. The seniors, or “super seniors” as Maher calls them that came back are Keanni Barron, Bella Garcia, and Miranda Grover.
Along with the three returning seniors, Maher now has five more seniors to help lead the team. The other five are Sydney Karlin, Breanna Simmons, Hannah Franklin, Jewell Lee, and Jessica Carmo.
Since the softball teams has their first game in early February, it is important that the players and coaches stay safe and healthy so they can play.
“For the most part, I try to keep them six feet apart, constantly saying that if you’re not six feet apart, make sure you have your mask on,” Maher said.
However, she said that making sure the players are safe at practice isn’t the most difficult part, but rather when the players are on their own. Maher mentioned that a few of the players were around another athlete who tested positive for COVID-19 and are now in quarantine for 14 days.
“It’s unfortunate and it just goes to show that you need to do your part, and your part is not just on the softball field, it’s when you’re away from softball and you have to be at a ‘party’ Saturday night and you’re not wearing a mask,” Maher said.
Although the team does not have a few of their players, Maher is still trying to keep team morale high for the players by having a better energy for the team.
“I’m trying to do a better job of trying to keep it a little lighter, trying to have a better energy because they’re (the players) in a tough position as well,” Maher said. “I can’t constantly get on them about things that might not be important in the moment. At the end of the day, it’s about keeping their spirits up, it’s about being with your teammates, it’s about, you know, doing the best that you can with what you have.”
With the start of their season approaching quickly, Maher said that she’s most anticipating their first game.
“It’s the first game, it’s always the first game,” Maher said. “Do not know what to expect and then you go to your conference two, three weeks later and then I could have a completely different lineup. Anything is possible.”
The Lady Bulldogs softball team plays its season opener in the UCO/OC Tournament in Edmond, Okla. on Friday, Feb. 5 at 12:30 p.m. against Northeastern State University.