By Gabriella Sorrentino, Staff Writer
The softball team, led by head coach Robert O’Brien and assistant coach Andrea Carini, is off to an exciting start this season, winning its first game of the season on April 12, an achievement that last year’s squad could not claim until May 16.
Another clear sign of the improvement the team has made since last year is the offensive power they showed when they beat Mater Dei, a team that shut them out twice last year, by a blistering score of 40-26.
To date, the Monarchs are off to a 1-3 start, losing to Lakewood, Rumson-Fair Haven and Ranney, but with 10 more games left to play, the team expects to notch a few more victories this season.
“I think I’m excited to just play with everyone and see how practices translate into games and just play with everyone and hopefully win a few games,” said freshman Madison Kelly.
The team has been working with a lineup of senior Kathryn Murray as pitcher with Kelly behind the plate; sophomores Jane Banahan, Patti Frees, Carolyn Litwin and Bailey Powers playing the infield; and senior Joanna Ferrer, junior Elizabeth Witek, junior Diana Ramos, freshman Hannah McCarthy and freshman Hannah Wietzke in the outfield.
O’Brien and Carini work to instill the fundamentals of the game into each of their players. “Our coaches this year are absolutely incredible, and they’re truly focused on the fundamentals of the game this year,” Witek said.
The team is made up of both veterans and new players, but the difference in skill level does not prove a barrier in the team’s friendship. “Softball has been a great outlet for me to meet new people and have new experiences,” Wietzke said.
The Monarchs have been working hard at practices and doing various drills to help hone their skills; however, Ramos explains that practices are for more than just improving their physical skills. “We’re always laughing and talking and having a good time. Practice is where we bond as a team,” Ramos said.