The Long-Awaited Season

Doni Luciano, Staff Writer

 

Returning seniors and captains Jordyn Petersen, and Hailey Studer are ready to start this year off strong. Petersen led the Bengals in years past with most taken bases. Petersen stole 42 bases her last high school season. Petersen also had an impressive batting average of .494. Studer is a versatile player; she plays infield and outfield and has a batting average of .310.
Now that softball is in season (without a pandemic to cut it short), for the first time in years, students were able to try out outside. The nice weather allowed coaches to see students full potential.
When tryouts are inside the space is limited to show what you can do. Kids almost all look like the same type of player inside. When trying out outside you can stand out easier, balls can be hit harder to the girls and the try-out drills can be more game like.
After last season being cut short the outside tryouts helped the coaches see how players would react in more game-like situations.
Try-outs this year were three days long. The first day was outside the other two days split up the kids into three groups, one group consisting of pitchers and catchers. The next tryout day the players hit and conditioned, and the last day was live hitting.
Due to Covid, preparing in the off season has been more important than ever so that girls don’t lose skills and can keep developing and not falling behind.
Studer and Petersen have been practicing on a dome ball team this winter to prepare, as well as working out. Peterson works out through a program called Englebert Training Systems (ETS) performance. It is an intense workout program to help her get fit for the season this year.
Studer and Petersen believe that the teams this year will be good because there are many returning players. However, they do think that because of the low numbers that tried out it might be difficult this season with Covid.
There will most likely be lots of movement between teams due to absences from covid and these low numbers. Coaches were looking for versatile players during tryouts that in a pinch can play where they will be needed because there will be a lot of unknowns for the season.
The coaches were lucky to be able to fill four teams this year. Many other schools have been struggling. This will be unfortunate for b-squad if they cannot come up with games for their season.
Some difficult teams to face this year are going to be Anoka and Forest Lake, according to Studer. The first game this year will be on Friday, April 9th against Edina at home, which Petersen is excited for, and they should be a good match to start with. There are a lot of things that the girls are excited for this year. One of the captains was excited to just be able to get everybody together to play again.
Petersen points out that a lot of the girls haven’t had the chance to play with each other, but said,

“Once we get all the dust off I think it’s going to be a great year.” ”

— Jordyn Petersen


The girls are excited to be able to work together again and mingle with new girls. The teams this year are very diverse. Players of all ages are on all four teams.
Eighth graders are being pulled up due to the lack of pitchers and catchers. This is fun for the girls to bond. The younger girls look up to the older girls, and they both help each other out. The transition into high school is a lot easier for the younger girls when they already have upperclassman friends.
This year the team hopes to work hard and join together as a team to make this season one of the best ones yet. A good team bond is super important to help the girls feel comfortable to put themselves out there and grow as a player. Support from teammates is what is going to set this season apart from the years before.