Team working hard for state


Audrey Caudle

Maryssa Rollin, senior, in the windup prepared to devliver a pitch at CBAC for the softball team on April 5 against Olathe West. As the starting pitcher, lots of pressure rests on Rollin to do well. Other players stood at the ready in the background, prepared to jump into action if the hitter sent the ball their way. Shortstop also must be ready if a player at first attempted to steal second base, working with the second baseman and catcher to prevent a base from being stolen.

Maddie Black, Reporter

The softball team kicked off their season on Thursday, March 29, against Olathe Northwest.

Michael Allen, head coach, said that the difference between this team and the past state-winning team is that they are “still lacking a little experience” and they have lost their Division I catcher.

Allen has had 10 teams that have gone to state and two teams that won state.

However, they do have 10 returners to the team who went to state last year: Alex Clark, Abby Allen, Maryssa Rollin, seniors; Maddie Swanson, Abbey Ward, Aubrey Griffith, Bailey Ballard, Ryleigh Diskin, juniors; Morgan Kern and Kelly Hipsher, sophomores.

The strengths of the team, according to Coach Allen, are starting pitching, defense and speed.

Coach Allen said that the girls need to work on the “mental side of the game” along with moving runners and hitting.

Allen said that some of their biggest competitors are going to be Olathe Northwest, because they are the returning state champions; Olathe East and Olathe North, city rivals; Lawrence Free State and Lawrence High have a lot of returners from the previous year, and Olathe West is very well coached.

Allen hopes to teach the girls on the team about perseverance and unity.

Kern, who went to state last year, said she learned “that keeping calm and staying confident are the most important things to do when on the big stage.” “Being on varsity takes a lot of time and commitment,” Kern said. “We work hard every day, including weekends, to make sure when game time comes, we are ready to perform at our best.”

This season Kern hopes to improve on her base running. “With the coaching this year, I can expect to learn how to be smarter and faster on the base path,” Kern said.

Another returner from state, Abby Allen said that state “was absolutely crazy. It was like playing in a college match. So many people in the stands.”

Abby Allen’s favorite part about softball is “going to state and competing to win.” “School softball I feel like is more competitive. You’re playing your friends on other schools and you all want the same title” Abby Allen says “competitive softball is a way to get college exposure to coaches and get offers from school.”

At state she learned that “you can’t stress about every little situation. You have to remember that you’re having fun.” This season she is also looking forward to playing for “my dad for the last time ever and winning the state championship.”