Softball team overcomes obstacles

ELLIECLAIRE GORDON, PHOTO EDITOR

Trinity Prep’s Varsity Softball team has faced hardships in the past year, but has come a better team because of it.  From losing their starting catcher for a year to adjusting to a new head coach, the team is stronger than ever before.

Senior Brooke Davis and captain of the Varsity Softball team tore her ACL, short for ‘anterior cruciate ligament,’ during her junior year in the annual powderpuff football game.  The ACL is an important stabilizer of the knee joint, which prevents hyperextension.   Davis collided with a fellow powderpuff player during the game and consequently had to receive reconstruction surgery.    Davis admits that it was tough and quite emotional when she found out that she would need surgery.

“All I could think about was the rest of my junior year, my summer and most importantly softball,” Davis said.

Standard recovery time for the surgery is six to nine months, but luckily Davis was cleared to play softball again after seven months.

Head coach Dee Starling has coached Davis for six years, beginning a year before Davis joined the Varsity Softball team.  Although Davis was sidelined for an entire season, Starling has only great things to say about Davis’s progress post-ACL surgery.

“It’s as if she never missed at all.  Her arm is strong, she blocks the ball and she’s quick behind the plate,” Starling said.  “In my opinion, [she] is the best catcher in the district.”

Davis emphasized how tough it was to get back into the swing of things when she began playing softball again.  Her sophomore season was statistically one of her best seasons, but Davis realizes that she must persevere to get back to that glorious sophomore season.

“I just have to try harder than before because [softball] is not going to come as easy as it did before I tore my ACL,” Davis said.
The Varsity Softball team only lost two seniors last year, and according to Davis, is more tight-knit than ever.  This year the team has a great deal of respect for Starling and her willingness to teach the game of softball.  The Saints defeated Cornerstone Academy 7-2 on April 7, a team that they lost to 11-4 earlier in the season.  Junior and teammate Cassie Veneziano expressed her enthusiasm about the progress of her softball team.

“It was definitely difficult having our catcher out for a year and then [transitioning to] a new head coach, but we’ve worked hard this year to rebuild and overcome those setbacks,” Veneziano said.  “We’ve grown closer as a team because of it, and I can’t wait to see what we can do next year!”

Starling explained that the team has stuck together this year in overcoming tough losses and transitioning to the new coaching staff.

“It’s never about an individual but about the team.  Laughing a little bit and not taking mistakes too seriously has really eased up the pressure,” Starling said.  “Learning to brush it off and not building on an error or a mistake is helping the players get beyond obstacles.”

Regardless of the obstacles that the team faces together, Starling maintains a positive outlook on her team members and their attitudes.
“There’s nothing more I love to see as a coach than to see players improving, working hard and enjoying the process.  Sure, winning is great, championships are awesome, but life-long memories are things they can keep forever,” Starling said.  “I always tell the girls that this is their experience, not mine.  They can create whatever memory they want.  I hope they leave feeling that this program supported them.”

There is no doubt that the Girls Varsity Softball players will continue to overcome their obstacles in the years to come, thus strengthening their skills as players and as people.

 

Head Coach Dee Starling gives her players a last-minute pep-talk before the start of their first home game.
ELLIECLAIRE GORDON
Head Coach Dee Starling gives her players a last-minute pep-talk before the start of their first home game.