After three difficult losses in the previous week, the varsity softball team earned a much needed win on Monday, beating Walter Johnson 14-8. Now sitting at 2-4 on the season, the win helped push the Rockets back in the right direction as they head into spring break.
Demoralized by their string of losses, the girls hoped to regain their confidence with a win. “Our plan was to have a fun game because I really wanted us back in the spirits of softball,” said head coach Kelly Callan.
Due to a slow start from the Rockets, the opposing batters were easily able to put the ball in play. Capitalizing off their lethargy, the Wildcats were able to send the first three runners home before turning it over to RM.
Walter Johnson’s pitcher provided a drastic change in speed from recent games, but the girls were able to adjust early in the line-up. Sophomore Maura Peang-Meth was walked and moved around the bases by her teammates just before junior captain Rachel Lebedinsky stole home. By the time they took the field again, the Rockets were only trailing by one point.
The RM defense were barely able to settle back in before they got sent back to the plate. Forcing two put outs and a caught fly-ball, sophomore pitcher Maya Geer threw a four-pitch inning, stopping the Wildcats’ early momentum.
With a couple walks and a good hit from sophomore lead-off hitter Aviva Feldman, the bases quickly filled up as Lebedinsky stepped up to the plate. Driving a deep ball into left field, she returned all the way home, giving the Rockets their first lead of the game, 6-3.
In the next few innings, RM’s defense successfully held the Wildcats from challenging the lead, even with runners in scoring position. Junior recruit Tatiana Pineda played an especially critical role in her fielding debut, making several good plays and contributing incredible speed around the bases.
At bat, the middle of the line-up went to work on widening the lead over WJ. Senior captain Greta Ouimette had a consistent day at the plate, hitting a single each of her four times at bat. Junior Taylor Thomas followed suit with a careful eye, walking twice before picking out the perfect pitch to drive into right field at the bottom of the fifth.
Trying to retaliate against the Rockets’ steady offensive efforts, the Wildcats put up some big hits in the last few innings. However, it ultimately wasn’t enough, as Geer closed the game with a called third strike.
Although RM was relieved to better their record, the victory revealed some opportunities for improvement. “The team is really coming together as a cohesive unit,” commented sophomore catcher Isabella Levine, “but we still have to work on capitalizing our strengths.”
Ouimette concurred, adding, “Even though we didn’t have a perfect game, it’s games like this one that bring us closer as a team.”
With senior captain Tatiana Davidson making her return to second base after a wrist injury, the Rockets are looking forward to getting another win after break when they face off against the Whitman Vikings.
Featured image by Katie Spencer