Freshman class of five helps softball team to best start in years

Swing, Batter: Dylan Fischer ’26 takes a swing at the ball during a home game against La Salle High School on Feb. 21. The team won 10-0.

Darlene Bible

Swing, Batter: Dylan Fischer ’26 takes a swing at the ball during a home game against La Salle High School on Feb. 21. The team won 10-0.

Nathan Wang

The softball team started the season looking to improve after finishing 2-16 last year. The team is 2-2 following a 20-9 win against Marymount High School on March 7. 

Head Coach Leesa Harris said the players on this year’s roster are uniquely dedicated. 

“What sets this team apart from the previous two years is everyone’s willingness to buy into what myself and the other coaches are doing,” Harris said. “We have worked extremely hard to create a different culture for this year’s team, and everyone has proven to be up for the challenge.”

Harris said this year’s returning players and new freshmen have worked cooperatively to strengthen the team.

“We also have six returners who [have] experienced the previous two years and came in this year with a will to want to be better,” Harris said. “That, mixed with a pretty strong freshman class of five [players], has been a complete game-changer.” 

First Baseman Nathalie Paniagua ’23 said the team’s solid performance this year is due to a tight-knit team and stronger motivation to win.

“I think our performance this year has been significantly better than last year’s,” Paniagua. “We’re a very close team that has the drive to win, so I think that has been reflected in the way we practice and play. This year we had a significantly larger number of freshmen join our team, which has helped [the team] tremendously as well, setting the team up for future seasons.”

Harris said playoffs are a long-term goal that the team ultimately hopes to reach by focusing on one game at a time.

“Our first goal is to win our league,” Harris said. “We are already on track after defeating Marymount last week.  Then we will make a run for playoffs.  We will achieve these goals by taking one game at a time and staying competitive.  It will take for us to do all of the little things right and stick to what we know.”

Right Fielder Maiya Holly ’24 said keeping up the team’s momentum is another one of the team’s goals.

“I feel great about this year,” Holly said. “I’m really proud of this group of girls and love the energy and drive that we approach each game with. One of our goals every day is to build up more consistency between every game—after the win last week we want to keep up the good work.”

Holly said softball has taught her about diligence both on and off the field. 

“Repetition and work matters,” Holly said. “All the reps [and] all the time we spend on the field makes us incrementally better, and over time, that adds up into notable progress. I try to keep that same work ethic when I move off the field.”