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Batter Up: FHE Softball Season Off to a Strong Start

A swirl of sand and chalk shoots into the air as the metal bat connects with the vibrant yellow ball. Smack. After an imperceivable pause to admire the ball’s trajectory, she’s off –  rocketing down the runway to first base. On the other side of the sand, this connection sends the teammate on third heading home. This is the Eastern softball team.

Over a month into their season, the softball players have been dominating the field. Already striding past their total wins from last year, this team is on a path to double the wins of their last season and continue their success into the upcoming districts.

Like any spring sport, the softball team relies on upperclassmen’s leadership to support the team and create a sense of community. Lilly Zaskowski has been a valuable member of softball at Eastern since her freshman year and now, as a junior, helps lead the team with the other upperclassmen. “I like to think that I bring a lot of energy to the team to keep us motivated,” Zaskowski shares. With that energy comes a position of leadership that the other girls notice and they look up to her as a role model on and off the field. Primarily a pitcher, Zaskowski also contributes all across the field and can be found anywhere from first base to third or shortstop. 

With only two seniors this year, Liz Vermaire and Tori Brown, they have a special place within the team dynamic. “Our seniors have really stepped up this year,” Zaskowski emphasizes, “and I think I can speak for the team when I say it wouldn’t be the same without them.”

Senior Tori Brown connects with the ball for a line drive.

Adding to the team community, softball has designated team sisters – an upperclassman paired with an underclassman – so everyone has a person to talk to and get to know throughout the season. This built-in support system provides another layer of bonding for the team and allows the players to grow closer to one another throughout the season.

The team has ten home runs so far this season – an impressive feat at that, but even more so, one was a grand slam. Freshmen Emily Nowicki sent the ball flying over the fence when the bases were perfectly loaded – sending everyone home. Nowicki’s grand slam and a second home run, add two to the grand total. Erin Longo (‘23) is at an outstanding five home runs to the count and Zaskowski has the other three.

This weekend the team took first at their tournament – prepping them for upcoming districts and adding to their total season wins. Now their record stands impressively at 15 wins and only 11 losses. It seems that the team has realized their potential, and on their current win streak, they are all lined up to peak when it matters most.

At this weekend’s tournament, the team came home with the win.

Avery Schestag (‘23), anchoring the team as a catcher, anticipates the upcoming games that lead into the final leg of the season. With a pre-district game on May 31st and districts following on June 4th, Schestag knows the team will be more than prepared for their games. “I’m looking forward to showing the other teams just how much we have improved from last year,” Schestag remarks.

Featured image courtesy of Schestag Photography.

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