It has been a rough season in Ruth Leedy Stadium for the Softball team. Coming off a pretty impressive year, the young team hoped to step up and fill the shoes of some big-name seniors from last year. Instead, with no senior leadership the team struggled to find a rhythm and win even two consecutive games this year. The Thunder currently sit at 8-28 overall with half those wins coming from in conference play and only three from their home field. Some blame the construction of the new welcome center next door for the team’s record, and yet others say the old lady who lives in the white house just beyond the fence hexed the field with a confundus charm. No one on or off the team could confirm or deny either allegation for The Record.
This past week, the softball team went 2-2, splitting double headers against Augustana and Elmhurst. On Saturday, sophomore Sophie Kent smashed a whopping walk-off home run down the left field line for her first career homer to put the Thunder up 4-3 in the 7th inning and clinch the W for Ohioan junior Kendall Kehres. The girls dropped the second game 0-9 in a tough second game. On Wednesday, the Thunder won the first game and lost the second to Elmhurst at home as Kehres snagged another win in a complete game effort.
The story for next year is leadership — something the team lacked this year in the absence of seniors. Much like in the men’s basketball team, the Class of 2017 never stepped up to the plate to assume a place of leadership and left a gaping hole for a few younger players to fill. There are positives to filling more places on the team with younger players as this year many girls could hone their skills and enjoy solid playing time as underclassmen. Next year, the team will have a few seniors to lead with the inherent wisdom that comes from having already finished most of your Gen Ed requirements.
Throughout this season, the team built a lot of chemistry through fun traditions like blasting music through the speaker system, team prayer and team burn bracelets. The intentional community abounds and next year is a new year at Ruth Leedy Stadium with tons of potential for improvement and another shot at the CCIW title. There’s always next year, but this one is pretty much in the books as a learning experience for the softball team.