Never-ending injuries for women’s softball team do not slow season

Never-ending injuries for women’s softball team do not slow season

Sports and injuries go together like peanut butter and jelly, SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick or the perfect combination of a bat and a ball. They just happen. The women’s softball team has suffered numerous injuries that left the team to end the season far from expectations.

With 10 games left to go in the season, the team’s starting second baseman, junior Cynthia Hayes was ruled out for the season due to a strained IT band in her knee when diving for a ball during practice. At the time, Hayes led Division III in batting average.

After Hayes’s injury, the team accumulated 7 of their 19 losses.

“Sometimes a little thing will make a difference,” said head women’s softball coach Dennis Shores. “When you lose somebody like that, it’s not saying that there aren’t other girls that can step in(to) her shoes but not to her extent. We just had to roll with the punches.”

Senior catcher and first baseman Sarah Cutright struggled to adjust. Cutright is one of the two captains on the team and has played next to Hayes for the past two and a half years.

“It was really hard because we knew how one another played,” said Cutright. “I knew what balls she was going to get, and I knew the ones that I needed to get. It was hard to regroup.”

Other notable wounds consisted of a broken foot, sprained wrists and several concussions, leaving players out for weeks at a time. At one point, half of the starters were sidelined.

Junior pitcher Morgan Myers fractured her foot during an intramural volleyball game. Within the past three years, her hand was broken, and she developed a stress fracture in her foot.

“It’s hard coming back from an injury because I worked really hard this summer to get back to where I was before,” said Myers. “You work hard to be on that field, and I ended up watching the game. It was heartbreaking.”

Injuries didn’t leave the girls pessimistic for long.

“The whole team stepped up in different situations,” said first-year outfielder and pitcher Calli Pastor. “It was a different person every game making big plays or hitting the ball at certain times when we really needed it.”

With so many players out, injured players have inspired and motivated the rest of the team.

“We fought and gave more effort for the girls sitting on the bench that were injured,” said sophomore, third and first baseman Rachel Howard.

Last year while batting, a player suffered a broken nose and concussion when a ball hit her in the face. This season, batting helmets were equipped with face guards to help prevent freak injuries such as these.

Still, there is only so much precaution one can take, and Myers wasn’t the only varsity athlete injured while participating in other sports.

Junior Thomas Deane, lacrosse goalie, tore his MCL and ACL when he went up for a layup during a halftime event at a basketball game.

This raises the question: should coaches be careful of their athletes participating in other sport related activities while in season?

“In Division III, student-athletes are open to playing other sports or intramurals,” said men’s lacrosse head coach Tom Carmean. “Unfortunately, every once in a while an unlucky or bad thing happens. That doesn’t say that it couldn’t have happened if they were running on the trails getting in shape.”

Although the season didn’t end the way the women’s softball team would have liked, the future is promising for next season.

“I think next year is going to be our year,” said sophomore second baseman Marty Wilcox. “Everyone was new and we were trying to form this chemistry. We finally found it, and it will work in our favor next year.”