As the GC softball team gears up to start their season, all of their preparation and practice is about to pay off.
Throughout the summer, the team did weight and conditioning workouts that helped build speed and strength. They worked on building stamina as well as team relations.
Rebecca Lawrence, a junior pitcher and utility player, returns this season in the hopes of getting back to the field to help her team.
Lawrence injured her shoulder a year ago and had surgery in June. She has been in recovery but hopes to get back out on the field this season.
“If I get off track with my throwing program, that could hinder me,” Lawrence said. “Obviously another injury to it would be terrible, but hopefully I’ll stay on track and come back as soon as possible. I’m just excited to play. I’m really excited to get back on the team.”
This season the GC softball team has more underclassmen than upperclassmen. Lawrence said they have been practicing and building team relationships throughout the offseason so that they will come into this season prepared and ready to work together.
“We are young which isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” said Lawrence. “Just a bunch of fresh minds coming in [with] different talents and different skills sets coming in.”
With this new change, everyone is excited to see what they can bring to the team and to the field. Lawrence also hopes for her team to get 35 wins this season.
“If you do that, you can make it to regionals and then you have a chance to make it to the World Series and win it all,” Lawrence said. “So it’s just one step at a time.”
Head coach Jamie Grodecki is going on her 10th season and said that this team is the youngest she has ever coached.
“With youth comes trials of communication and chemistry, just being all on the same page for seven straight innings,” said Grodecki. “We have talent and we have good kids.”
One thing that Grodecki focused on during the offseason was being mindful of the pre-season by holding scrimmages. She is focusing on preparing the team physically as well as academically to run into this season with confidence and expectations. While this team is young, Grodecki said that they can be fearless too.
One of Grodecki’s goals is to have 35 wins this season and a collective 3.5 GPA.
“We need to understand that every game is important,” Grodecki said. “We need to value every single inning and every single pitch because it’s not about beating rivals or even people, it’s about winning the game.”
Grodecki has big hopes for sophomores Hannah Rodgers and Ariel Edenfield on the mound this season as well as returning players Rebecca Lawrence, Haley Howell and Amber Coy.
“I think they’re prepared, and I think they’re ready,” Grodecki said.
Coach Grodecki is going into this season with confidence in her players and their abilities and she is excited to see this season kickoff.
Howell, a junior catcher and infielder, returns for her third year on the GC softball team. Howell is excited to start this season with the new team and has grown as a leader during the offseason by helping and teaching the underclassmen how to work together.
“With a lot of new people, there’s a lot of new stuff to learn but they all came in and have been working hard,” Howell said.
Howell is ready to see what these girls bring to the field. Howell said that a unique characteristic of this team is that there is a lot of movement within positions. For example, girls who have not pitched in a long time are coming in and regaining those skills by practicing and preparing to be back on the mound.
One of her goals this year is to get on base every single time.
“I just need to have that mindset of being selfless,” Howell said. “I also want to throw more people out.”
A goal Howell has for her team is for them to focus on one pitch at a time and play each pitch. She thinks the team definitely has the potential to make it to regionals this season.
“I’m ready to play, Howell said. “I’m ready to all be together and to play together.”