Varsity Softball Slips Under Hendrickson 8-3

By Julia Kurtz, Photographer

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  • Scoring a run for the Warriors, Lizzie Taylor ’18 slides across home plate while the umpire deems it safe.

  • Lizzie Taylor ’18 slides to home plate to score another point for her team.

  • After a few bad pitches from the other team, Chelsea Terranova ’19 bunts the ball to center.

  • Chelsea Terranova ’19 prepares for an incoming pitch.

  • Hailey Lozano ’19 tosses the ball to Haley Popelka ’18, the pitcher, while warming up for their turn on the outfield.

  • While getting ready for her turn at bat, Chelsea Terranova ’19 warms up with a few practice swings.

  • Haley Popelka ’18 winds up for a fast ball.

  • Lizzie Taylor ’18 keeps her eyes on the ball while guarding third base.

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The varsity softball team hit off district play with the first game of the season against the Hendrickson Hawks on Tuesday, March 6. The Warriors’ hard work from preseason paid off as they came onto the field with a powerful dynamic put into action from their vigorous communication and thunderous spirit. Although they had many wins as a team during the game, they fell amiss and were defeated 8-3.

“We had a really good start to our game,” Lizzie Taylor ‘18 said. “The first two innings were the best we have ever played this season, and we just need to keep working hard mentally and psychically to get to where we play a full game at that level.”

It was only the beginning of the first inning when the Warriors’ pitcher, Haley Popelka ‘18, struck out in double time which stopped the Hawks in their tracks and kept them from racking up runs. After a great job on defense, the Warriors were up to bat. Alyssa Popelka ‘19 hit a high fly ball, but it was caught by Hendrickson’s left fielder, thus sending her back to the dugout. The second inning began with Popelka back in the pitcher’s circle. She struck the Hawk’s batters out one by one, and when one of the batters hit a straight, she stopped the ball dead in its tracks. On the offensive, Chelsea Terranova ‘19 laid down a strong, in-line bunt and dashed towards first base. To the Hawks’ luck, they managed to throw her out, but just in time.

“I feel like we let it all go in one inning  and it was really disappointing, but I think that we have stuff to go off of, to work on, and if we fix that it’ll be good,” Popelka said. “I hope in the future that whenever someone makes an error we don’t let it affect the entire game and we keep on picking each other up.”

The third inning took a turn when Popelka hit a ground to center field which led Taylor home on the throw, scoring the Warriors’ first run. Not only did Taylor come home, but Hailey Lozano ‘19 got all the way to third. Their streak didn’t end there. Eileigh Whyte ‘21 hit a ground to center field which took Lozano home for their second run of the night.

Then in the bottom of the fourth, with the Warriors at bat, Natalie O’Connor ‘20 grounded to third, but got out when running to third base. Next, Terranova and Taylor both hit fly balls to second, but they were caught. With the Warriors’ spirits down, the Hawks caught up and gained a lead of 4-2.

The Warriors did not give up. Popelka hit a bunt in the bottom of the fifth inning then sprinted to first and stole second, she was safe. Haley walked to first after Popelka gained second which allowed the Warriors to gain more runs. Run after run, Gabriella Garcia ‘19 had a single fly ball to right field, and Popelka scored and Haley was safe on third. To make things even better, Whyte got to walk after a row of bad pitches from the Hawks. With two players on bases, O’Connor had a hit to shortstop, but unfortunately Whyte got out at second.

The game was coming to an end when the Warriors were down by five runs. In the seventh inning, Terranova hit a fly ball to first, but the ball was caught. Taylor also hit a fly to the shortstop, but the Hawks caught it fast, and they threw it to first which sent Taylor off the field. To the Warriors’ despair, they didn’t manage to rack up enough points to catch up with the Hawks again, but they put in an unforgettable fight. This game was only the beginning of the season as they look to improve their play against the McNeil Mavericks on March 9.