By, Samantha Goldenson
As most spring teams were winding down for a long, relaxing March break, Winsor Varsity Softball, led by co-captains Lily C. ‘17, Emily G. ‘17 and Maggie H. ‘17, was gearing up for their highly anticipated Spring Training trip to Orlando, Florida. The team was especially excited for the experience considering the fact that the trip was temporarily cancelled due to lack of funding in early December. With their starting pitcher out with an injury and several new players, the line up from past seasons was in jeopardy. Co-Captain Emily described the team as having “a disproportionate amount of injuries to the number of games [WVSB] actually played.” However, she also said that “a lot of players stepped up when they were needed,” many players were placed in positions that they had little to no experience in. Most notably, the team had Christina B. ‘17 and Emily K. ’20 pitching, both of whom had never pitched in a Varsity game before, yet did a commendable job.
Diana F. ’17 noted that the team “challenged [themselves] playing softball against tough opponents,” which, while challenging, was ultimately gratifying. Winsor lost their first 3 games to teams from Tennessee and Florida, however, the team tied their final game against the Orlando Raiders with a score of 14-14. Although not marked with a “W,” the tied game was the first time Winsor Softball had not lost a game during Spring Training in Florida, the achievement was most definitely considered a “win” by players and coaches alike.
Although the games and practices prepared the team for competition in the coming season, the biggest benefit of the trip is the teammates’ sense of companionship and team spirit. Despite their less than perfect record, Kym M. ‘18 says that the team “all bonded a lot, so that was a win.” The team was treated to multiple trips to Universal Studios Orlando, where they enjoyed hanging out together and eating a lot of theme-park delicacies such as ice cream and cotton candy. Some highlights of the trips to the park included the roller coasters “Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit” and “The Mummy,” as well as the themed Despicable Me and Transformers rides.
Emily H. ’19 claimed that the experience was “one of the best trips [she’d] ever been on” and she had “so much fun!” The team’s experience in Florida has already proved influential, as they gained an early 18-2 win against Concord Academy and played a tough, nail-biting game against Lexington Christian Academy that they ultimately lost in extra innings 12-11. For the time being, the team has lost their starting catcher due to a concussion, as well as numerous other players due to injury. However, their spirit has not faltered. The team has their sights set on winning the EIL tournament for a second consecutive year, and even winning the EIL League Championship. Through both thick and thin, the players on the Varsity Softball team have continued to reiterate the importance of the bonding they experienced. Christina B. puts it quite perfectly, saying that “[she] know[s] that any player on Winsor Varsity Softball would do anything for the team.” It is evident from their early games that this team is truly unified both on and off the field. “Florida taught us how to lose” says Emily G.; “this season, we’re going to teach everyone else.”