Softball keeps positive outlook despite challenging season ahead

The softball team huddles together for a pregame talk before their games against Leavenworth High School on March 27.

photo courtesy of Ella Boxx

The softball team huddles together for a pregame talk before their games against Leavenworth High School on March 27.

The De Soto High School softball team recently kicked off its season at Leavenworth High School on March 27, capturing a win in the first game of the season.

Although the team fell to LHS in the second game of of the night, the win was thought to be a great result for the team, according to sophomore pitcher Ella Boxx.

“The first softball games went really well. We won our first one of the season but took a tough loss the second game due to a faster pitcher,” Boxx said. “In both games, we played the hardest we could and never gave up on the game. I’m very happy with our results.”

Heach coach Junelle Woolery agreed and was proud of the team’s positivity through both games.

“At Leavenworth, we played really well and won our first game. In the second game, we just couldn’t get our bats going against a pitcher who was a little bit better [than the first], and we couldn’t quite adjust to that, but we stayed really positive,” Woolery said.

Most recently after the Leavenworth game, the team battled Shawnee Heights High School, the two-time defending State champions, and Gardner Edgerton High School.

“Shawnee Heights is the two-time defending 5A State champions, and they haven’t lost a game, so I think they’re 54-0. We saw the best of the best, and the girls kept going up there and doing their best, but it was hard,” Woolery said. “However, we made some great plays in the field, but the other team hit the ball hard, so they hit a lot of gaps.”

The team collected losses versus Shawnee Heights and Gardner, but Boxx feels that the their losses don’t necessarily determine the rest of the season.

“Most people don’t have a lot of confidence in the softball team due to the amount of games we have won versus lost, but I think we have a ton of potential to have an awesome team,” Boxx said.

Woolery feels that the team will encounter more challenging opponents in the future, in addition to already having competed against GEHS and SHHS.

“Our schedule is really tough, so I think we need to keep our mental toughness and stay positive when we are playing high caliber teams and maybe not doing so well on the scoreboard,” Woolery said. “Even though you are improving as an individual and as a team, to not see that success in the win and loss columns can be hard, but that’s where the grit comes in. We have to keep grinding everyday, trying to improve and stay positive, and not let ourselves get down.”

Despite the challenges the team has encountered, and will encounter in the future, Boxx feels that transferring to DHS and playing for the softball team has been a great change in environment from her previous school.

“De Soto softball is such a different environment than my high school last year, and quite frankly better than most of my club teams. There are a bunch of amazing girls who work hard and want to win,” Boxx explained. “I’m so happy with my decision to switch schools because I love the softball team and could not ask for better coaches. Even though I am new and came into the program not knowing a lot of people, I’ve already gotten to for strong bonds with teammates that support one another on and off the field.”

The DHS girls’ softball team next travels to Seaman High School to play the Vikings on April 5.