Second chance season

Athletes share hopes, expectations of upcoming baseball, softball games


Caden Rainwater

Softball and baseball season is getting ready to start up again after it had to been put on halt due to COVID-19 in 2020. Some players still fear that the pandemic may alter their season.

Story by Caden Rainwater and Olivia Huckabee

The baseball and softball teams are preparing themselves for the craziest season yet. With last year’s season cut short by the pandemic, which is still affecting lives, many players hold onto the hope that this year will be different. 

“My hopes for the upcoming season is that we just get to play mainly,” junior Lizzie Smith said. “I want to be able to improve as a player for all of us to improve as a team and make memories as we battle through this season.” 

Since COVID-19 is the biggest source of worry at the start of this season, some girls have come to terms with the fact that their season may turn out the same as last year. However, some players are trying to hold onto hope that they will see out the entirety of their season. 

“Though there is a lot of uncertainty, I feel that it is our place as players to respect the guidelines and listen to the professionals and their decisions even if it isn’t what we want,” Smith said. “I think that instead of worrying about what is going on outside of our control, we need to play to the best of our abilities while we have a chance.”

With few underclassmen playing for the varsity squad, the girls have had time from last year to become an all around great team inside and out. Ideally, the softball team will have many returning lettermen to lead the team through the season.

“We are a young team, but the girls have really started jelling with each other, and I think that helps a lot with games,” softball coach Robbie Hatfield said. “Even with the underclassmen, we have some very talented girls, and we are a very talented team this year.”

Along with the Lady Tigers, the baseball team has started their season as well.

“Our first official game is Feb. 22 against North Lamar,” senior Jackson Doss said. “ The team looks great, but there is always room for improvement.”

The Tigers baseball team had their first scrimmage versus Evangel on Feb. 8.

“We had a great scrimmage, but we can’t use that as our guideline,” Doss said. “We always have to strive to be better.”

Something notable about the softball team is the lack of seniors. One of the few prepared to take an important leadership role is Central Baptist University commit Mollie Johnson.

“I am very excited for this season especially being able to play with almost the same starting roster as last season,” Johnson said. “I think playing with the same girls from last year except one or two will definitely help out the team this year as far as games because we know how the other [players] work.”

The Lady Tigers are staying optimistic about this year and hoping for a trip to the playoffs after the regular season comes to a close.

“I know we are going to have a great season. The talent is definitely there, and if we can learn how to harness it, we will be the best we can be,” Smith said. “I really feel that we have a pretty good chance to make the playoffs if COVID allows for it.”

Through trials and tribulations, separation has taken its toll on the solidity of families and teams, but the Lady Tigers keep their eyes on the future to bring them closer.

“No matter what happens, these girls are my team and my family,” Smith said. “I am definitely looking forward to spending so much time with my teammates, and I think we are all looking forward to the start of a great season.”