Softball team hopes to play safe after missed season

Senior Olivia Wilson prepares to hit the softball during training for the upcoming season. (Photo by Harley Carroll)

After missing their last season due to COVID-19, head coach Jessica Sciacca said softball team members are ready to take on the season, which started Feb. 22, with hard work and determination.

Sciacca said this will be her 11th season coaching for the program.

“We have something to prove this year,” she said, after missing last season.

She said softball has been lifting twice a week and has had open gym or hitting once a week.

“I’m excited to work on skills and for these girls the opportunity to compete,” she said.

While she hopes to be successful this season, Sciacca said that safety is their first priority. They have a full season planned, she added, but they are unsure whether masks will be mandatory during games. She said the program will follow the Bexley Athletic Department’s COVID guidance and any additional guidelines.

Senior Kate Sullivan explained that the girls must get their temperatures taken before each workout and must sanitize any equipment.

“We must wear masks at all times besides water breaks, which is not too bad,” Sullivan said.

Junior Kelsey Cain said she doesn’t find the COVID protocols affecting her performance at all.

“Many of Bexley’s softball players are multiseason athletes, so playing in a mask isn’t a new experience for most of us,” Cain said.

Sullivan said not having a season last year was difficult for the program and its players.

“We had already been practicing for around a month when COVID hit and interrupted the season, so it was upsetting that we didn’t get to really start the season,” she said.

Sciacca also said missing last year was unfortunate due to the hard offseason work the girls put in.

“We worked really hard last year in the offseason, so it hurt us not being able to see all that hard work play off,” she said. “However, there is always more work that can be done.”

Missing last season made players more excited to play this year, given they didn’t have a season, sophomore Quinn McDermott said.

“I think the whole team is ready to work hard, and make up for the lost season,” she said.

Cain believes the team will be successful this season because most of the team is returning.

“I think this season will go well for us since we only lost two seniors, so the team’s chemistry is still pretty much the same,” she said.

Sullivan also believes the team has great new players that can really add to the team’s skill level.

“With many new freshmen coming in, I think we have a pretty solid team,” she explained.

Cain added that she hopes they can be successful yet responsible this season.

“Of course I hope we win the league and as many games as we can, but before everything, I hope everyone on the team stays healthy both physically and mentally,” she said.