Girls Varsity Softball wins two games, setting them on the path for NYSAIS

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Aryan Palla, Staff Writer

“We came back and scored 13 runs in the fifth inning to take the lead and didn’t look back after that,” Girls Varsity Softball Coach Ray Barile said. 

In their game against Ethical Culture Fieldston School on Monday, the team had a rocky start and was losing by six runs at the start of the fifth inning, Sunshine Quinones (12) said. “But once we got our rhythm going, we made a serious comeback,” she said. The team ultimately won the game 25-13.

The team’s streak continued in Wednesday’s home game against The Loyola School with a 12-2 win. Friday’s game against The Hackley School had to be postponed as Hackley’s team did not have enough players.

Throughout the season, the team has dealt with injuries, COVID, limited practice, and canceled games, but despite the setbacks, the team has been performing well and is improving, Zeba Packer (10) said. “We’re starting to adjust to our new positions and regain confidence as a team. Our recent wins against Fieldston and Loyola have shown that we’re still a force to be reckoned with,” Packer said.

The team battled injuries all season, and Monday’s game was no exception, Barile said. Four of their starting players were injured, and the team had to play undermanned, he said. “Everyone had to step up,” Barile said. Players who didn’t have a lot of experience took on the challenge and made some amazing plays, Barile said. 

This season, the team has become closer despite the pandemic. “COVID has made it hard these past two years to get close as a team, so the seniors and I wanted to put a lot of priority on bonding this year,” said Quinones. The team’s spring break training allowed for them to get closer as a team and as friends, she said.

Not only did COVID affect the team’s relationships but they had to relearn much of their technique as a team after two years without a normal softball season. “We had to reteach everything from scratch: the cutoffs, all of our signals, our signs, and our plays,” said Barile. To supplement practices, Barile assigned informational videos for the players to watch during the season.

The team had their first two weeks of practice inside the gym where they worked on building basic skills, like throwing and catching, as well as situational drills, making sure they are aware of what’s happening during the game to avoid any mental errors, Quinones said. “We are able to play better individually and think more strategically about how to score and get outs,” she said.

The team has their sights set on the New York State Association of Independent School (NYSAIS) tournament, but will have to deal with injuries and limited practice. “Our ultimate goal is to get second2nd place in NYSAIS, and I think we’re a good enough team to do it, but we’re also just aiming to play our best each game,” Packer said.

“We also have a bet with our coach that if we can come in second place in NYSAIS, he will dye his hair, so it’s something we’re all working towards,” Quinones said.