The varsity softball team is off and running on what the team expects to be a great season led by seniors Brigid Bernier, Kaylee Diaz, and Melissa Luari and Head Coach Jason Bradley. Adding to the excitement for Coach Bradley is the addition of new assistant coaches joining his staff and the welcoming of several younger players eager to join the Wyverns.
The Wyverns spent the first two weeks of their season practicing indoors in a secluded and small section of the Hoffman field house. Just as they were familiarizing themselves with one another, the players were faced with the challenges that come with going on spring break for two weeks and then having to resume practice upon their return. Determined to succeed, the girls managed to bond as a team and start the year strong with a 1-1 record.
On April 4, the teamed played Taft, but despite a hard fought and competitive battle, eventually lost 6-4 to the Rhinos. The visiting Wyverns scored their first run when eighth-grade pitcher Kyra DunnIrvine managed to steal 3rd base and home to put the Wyverns up by one run. The next two runs were scored off a line drive and a pop up that found the gap. The Wyverns’ final run was scored by sophomore short-stop Ava Radmanovich, who was able to score after a series of walks allowed by Taft pitching.
DunnIrvine led the team on the mound with stellar starting pitching that saw her strike out at least one Taft batter each of the first three innings.
On April 6, the softball team hosted Wilbraham and Monson Academy and crushed their opponents 18-8 at home. The considerable time spent batting and base running at practice paid off for the Wyverns as many players had a hand in contributing to the win. Sophomore Olivia Pear and freshman Mackenzie Caruso led the team in hitting, each producing four hits.
The team played aggressively and their defense made consistent, solid plays throughout the entire game. Coach Bradley and the girls believe this game will be the catalyst that pushes the Wyverns in the right direction to ensure the remainder of the season is a success.
The girls also lost to Ethel Walker School (17-1) on April 10. They also lost to Chesire on April 13.
Bradley said he believes his team’s mental attitude and their practice regime is what will lead them to more wins. “We have been teaching kids all new positions since we have so many new girls and so many open positions,” Coach Bradley said. He said the team’s main focus in practice is on hitting, especially on the different types of specialized hitting, like bunting and slap hitting.
Coach Bradley also stated that he is working on developing and increasing his players softball IQ. He wants his players to know how to respond to different circumstances that arise during a game and to know where the ball is going before it is even hit to a certain spot on the field, all skills that usually players gain not only through practices, but through actual game experiences.
The team has set many goals for the year, including dedicating themselves to improving every day and giving 110% every time the team steps onto the field. “We want everyone to get 3% better each day,” Coach Bradley said.
Bradley said that after a game, the coaches and the players reflect on the their performance and look at what the softball team did well and on what they can do to improve. The following practice the Lady Wyverns work hard to apply what they learned in anticipation of using it to be successful in their next game.
Coach Bradley said the team dynamic is all-around great and that everyone is easy-going and out to have fun.
It is this positive attitude that Coach Bradley feels will help the Wyverns as they encounter the middle and most important part of their season.
Their next home game is on Saturday, April 20 at 2:00 p.m.