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Throw like a Girl, Softball at Wakefield High School

Junior, Taylor Cain gets a ground ball and throws it to the infield.

Staff Photo by Chase Cofield

Junior, Taylor Cain gets a ground ball and throws it to the infield.

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The softball season is just starting for our Lady Wolverines; coaches, players, and fans are excited about the team’s potential. They are currently are 1-1-2 and are making good progress. They have done very well hitting and getting runs, especially when runners are in scoring positions.

“We are doing a really good job at putting the ball to the bat,” Junior Taylin Cain who plays center field said.

One of the hurdles this year’s team has had to deal with was the loss of five seniors, four of them being starters for every game.   The team filled many positions this year and replaced empty spots with freshman or sophomores who are just learning the game. It is a work in progress, but there is much room for potential. There has been an improvement in every game they have played be that with pitching, catching or defense in general.

Staff Photo by Chase Cofield
A softball player getting ready to swing the bat.

“I had to fill those spots lost with inexperienced players that don’t have as much game time as our seniors did,” Head Coach Unklesbay said. “ So sometimes we are having miscommunication, like too many passed and too many wild pitches. We just have to find the right combination of consistency with pitches and keeping the ball in front of us and we’ll be fine.”

Coach Unklesbay has much experience with softball, playing on a travel team all through her high school years and playing Division 3  collegiate softball in her home state of Ohio. After college, she taught and coached at a school in the northeastern part of North Carolina, Herbert County. She was there for five years and was the head coach for four. She learned that winning wasn’t all there was to the game.  

“We had a big team but we just couldn’t be competitive with other teams who had more experience and more girls who played travel ball. We didn’t win many games but we improved each year I was there, ” Coach Unklesbay said.

This season the team is faced with a new conference that poses new and challenging competition. This conference is said to be more difficult with better schools and less competitive matches. This conference also only has six teams rather than the previous eight-team conference. This leads to less of a balance between teams and fewer games in conference games. Much of the conference is unknown to the team. They don’t know their habits or plays they usually run, thus having to figure that out while playing during the game.

“There are better teams in this conference. Rolesville joined our conference and they are really good. Easier teams like Broughton, were taken out of our conference,” Junior Co-Capitan Peris Pavlinac said.

So far, the team has only played Rolesville, Heritage, and Wake Forest, with, Heritage and Wake Forest being at the top of the CAP 8 Conference. Wakefield hopes to stay in the middle of the pack like they were in the CAP 8. By not worrying too much about these schools but about beatable teams they can have a winning season.

As student-athletes and a softball player sometimes it can be difficult like if the weather affecting how fast you run or how hard you hit or the number of activities ranging from sport friend, family, and school that you have to juggle. However, Senior captain Samantha Masinick keeps her team focused and ready to play at all time. She tells her team to prepare for matches by stretching, drinking water throughout the day, and reinforcing positive thinking.

“We could all improve on building up our team mentally and staying focused on the game, and not outside problems. I try to show it every day through practices and games by doing what you’re supposed to do and keeping that positive mindset,” Masinick said.  

 

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Throw like a Girl, Softball at Wakefield High School