This year on the softball field, there have been twice the number of at-bats, twice the number of cheers, and twice the number of teams in the Piedmont softball program.
The softball program has both a JV and varsity squad this year for the first time since the 2013 season.
The ability to have a JV team as well as a varsity team resulted from a huge boom in the number of players, specifically freshmen, who came out for softball this year. The number of players in the program has doubled since last year, second year assistant coach Bruce Goddard said.
The large increase in the number of freshmen playing softball this year can be explained by the fact that many of the freshmen playing are friends, which encouraged many players to stick with it, varsity player freshman Chloe Tjogas said.
Having enough players to create a JV team gives the program an opportunity to develop some of the younger players and prepare them for the varsity level, varsity head coach Jen Deering said.
“Players who are freshmen, who need work on skills—need game situations, by the time they get to be juniors or seniors they are in a position to help you,” Goddard said.
Captain senior Megan Deutsche has noticed that the reduced size of the varsity team has made it easier for players to get to know each other and has brought the team closer together, Deutsche said.
“The last couple years it has been hard to bond because there has been so many people,” Deutsche said.
While it is helpful for the development of the program, having another team presents problems in the form of organizing practices, distributing a limited amount of equipment and finding enough coaches to staff the JV team, Deering said.
“Logistical stuff can be a little bit challenging, but it is worth it to try to deal with all that stuff in order to have two teams,” Deering said.
Varsity player freshman Camille Creighton has hit two home runs this year, and at one point was leading the league in the category.
The freshmen have made an impact not only on the field but on the morale and attitude of the team as well, Deutsche said.
“It is definitely a younger team, a bit more energetic than some of my past teams, and I think that may be due to the freshmen,” Deutsche said.
The team is doing a lot better this year due in large part to the talent of the freshmen, and the team’s ability to gel and work together well, Deutsche said.
The softball team has been on a bit of a downcycle in recent years, but the coaching staff and players are working hard to reverse that, Goddard said.
This years 7-7 record is improvement from previous years, Tjogas said.
“I feel like this is a really big transitional year for Piedmont softball the fact that we have a JV team and we have a pretty darn good varsity team so far,” Deering said.