Girls softball starts season strong with two slaughter-rule victories

Team looks to win conference with experienced lineup of ball players


Emily Joseph ‘22 prepares to make play at third base in game against Glenbard West (photo courtesy Anna Bryant).

Brooke Chomko, Sports Editor

With rainy and cold weather, the beginning of softball season came with a lot of game cancellations due to unplayable field conditions for the team. The frequent cancellations are nothing out of the ordinary for the months of March and April, but the team wasn’t used to it after a delayed season last year, head varsity coach Nicole Paluch said. 

Nonetheless, the first two games the team was able to play resulted in them slaughtering the other team, where the game ended at four innings instead of seven.

“[It] was a great way to start the season,” Paluch said. “It show[ed] how aggressive they are at the plate, and how they, together as a team, can string together hits and drive each other in. It was also great because our whole entire roster got to play, so we were able to see every single player on our team contribute to those wins.”

This year, the players believe they have a better shot at a conference win and even are hopeful to make it as far as state, with talent on the team this year and because many of the opposing teams’ strongest players have graduated, pitcher Lily Hanafin ‘22 said. 

“For all the previous years, we’ve had this girl on York that was an insane pitcher, and it was impossible to beat York,” third base and shortstop player Emily Joseph ‘22 said. “So this year, our goal is to win conference, because we have the potential to do that.”

The team is smaller than usual this year with only 15 players, but that has allowed the group to bond well at games, practices, and the traditional freshman initiation to varsity, Joseph said. 

“With a smaller group, it’s been a lot easier to connect with everybody,” Hanafin said. “We were able to come out on day one and gel as a team and be able to play more comfortably together.”

Both Hanafin and Joseph want to end their fourth season on varsity with success in their games, but also have fun as their high school softball careers come to a close. While Hanafin is committed to George Washington University’s D1 softball team, this will be Joseph’s last competitive year.  

“I really want to have fun this season, especially since it’s my last season,” Joseph said. “I’m obviously gonna take it seriously, but I just want to enjoy every single moment, because it’s like my last hurrah.”

This positive outlook is not just shared by Joseph, as the whole team has been grateful just to be able to have a regular season post-COVID-19 restrictions, Paluch said. 

“Everyone is just happy to be out there having their season,” Paluch said. “Our seniors lost out on their sophomore year, so every game, every day of the season matters to them. And you can tell that by how hard they work at practice [and] how excited they are for games.”