Sports & Outdoors

Women’s softball starts off rocky, but is reaching for improvement with young roster

The Loggers’ softball team started its season off with conference games against George Fox and Pacific University on Feb. 22 and Feb. 23 and while they lost, the Loggers are more than ready to showcase their skills and continue to grow as a cohesive unit.
This team has differed from past years as it is mainly comprised of freshmen and new players, adding to the dynamics of the team and how the season will play out. Of the 13 players on the team, seven of them are freshmen and there are only two seniors. Because they are a young team this year, there is a lot to learn but also room to improve.
Junior Marissa Jeffers (Issaquah, Wash.) has been an important asset to the team ever since she was recruited here from the former program’s coaches.
“As one of the captains I think the most important role that I fill is to help maintain an upbeat and relaxed atmosphere while on the field. This helps us play more confidently, but also gives us more drive to compete,” Jeffers said.
Because the team has shifted dynamics in the past couple of years, its strengths and weaknesses become evident. Due to not having a set lineup, many of the players are in a different position that is not their primary one, which can negatively impact the team as a whole.
While there are some disadvantages that come with being a fairly new team, the softball team has viewed it as a way to play the game with how they know it. Another strength is their strong bond off the field which translates back onto the field and allows the team to play better.
“I think the biggest strength of our team is that we all get along incredibly well. This is beneficial on the field because it makes us want to push each other to be better. I think if we did not have such a strong appreciation for each other’s abilities and successes, we would settle for lower standards,” Jeffers said.
Senior Chelsea Lindroth (Shoreline, Wash.), who has played softball her entire life and played for Puget Sound for two years after transferring from Shoreline Community College, hopes this season is a time for the team to continuously grow on and off the field.
“We are trying to improve on just playing to the best of our abilities, no matter who we are playing…My favorite part of being on this team is that every day, no matter what is going on, I look forward to going to practice and hanging out with some great people for three hours. Also, I know that they will always make me laugh pretty much every day,” Lindroth said.
Looking at previous games this season, both Jeffers and Lindroth agreed that the highlights proved what the team was made of and showcased each player’s talents.
“One particular thing that stands out from the previous games is that our bats really came alive last Sunday when we were playing Pacific, and even though we were down we never gave up and were able to score multiple runs in the last inning. I just think that helps show the character of who this team is,” Lindroth said.
“There have been many highlights this far in the season, but I’d say I was most excited when Jaci Young, a freshman, hit a home run during her first collegiate at bat,” Jeffers said.
Now looking ahead for the season, the team is excited to play against Pacific Lutheran University as it is a neighboring rival school. Not only are the Loggers preparing for this upcoming game but for all others as well through intense workouts, training and support systems.
“The coaching staff has been the biggest tool to help us prepare for upcoming games. They all read over scouting reports which we then use to help guide practice so we are better prepared for the opposing teams tendencies,” Jeffers said.
The softball team has proven that they have the talent and ability to lead a successful season. Lindroth’s mindset will help guide the team to that goal, “My role as captain influences the team by showing everybody that if you do work really hard and have a good attitude along the way then you can achieve things that other people might not think that you can. This is so because I am not the tallest, strongest, or fastest person on the team but I work hard every day with what I do have and try to get a little better every day.”