After losing five players to graduation, the Fairmont Varsity Softball team is rebuilding with a young team that’s still working to put their best game on the field. So far this season, they are 6-7 with 7 games left to play.
Allie Schroeder, the only senior on the team, says she sees room for improvement, but she maintains that teamwork and cooperation will help the team perform in the remaining games.
“I think the season as a whole could be better,” Schroeder said. “We have a tough schedule and we’ve lost some tough games, but as a team, it seems like we’ve managed to become a family.”
Schroeder attributes the initial stall in the season to minor errors and is confident they can be corrected in games to come.
“I think we can improve on our errors. As a team, we make a bunch of them because we don’t seem to shake things off and have a short-term memory,” Schroeder said. “If I had one piece of advice for us, I would say to forget about that last play and move onto the next.”
Head Coach Adrienne Schlereth also has optimism for the remainder of the season.
“The positives I see in this team are that they are a hitting team. It’s difficult to make a lineup when all of your players are hitters,” Schlereth said. “That’s a good problem to have.”
There have been some challenges, however, and Schlereth said weather is one of them. “After playing Northmont, it became very clear that we are not great at playing in the mud,” she said.
Schlereth also stresses team cohesion.
“One of the things I plan on improving is our communication on the field.” the coach said. “Teamwork is key and can make or break a team. I believe we have a really good team this year and I am looking forward to getting to play some games to prove that.”
Junior Taylor Baer agrees that teamwork is vital. “Our team is really outgoing and positive this year, and we have a ton of potential when we work together,” she said.
This year’s team has a lot of new blood, a factor in the teamwork dynamic. “We have a lot of new talent on the team this year, and girls are stepping up to fill the starting roles,” Schlereth said.
Schroeder said she feels a responsibility to be a leader on the young team.
“My expectations are to be a leader on and off the field,” the senior said. “I’m not having my best season, but it’s not about your batting average. It’s about playing as a team and having the best game you possibly can together.”
For Schroeder, in addition to her love of the sport and her team, her years of Fairmont softball have also held a sentimental value.
“My little sister, Lauren, passed away when I was in eighth grade,” Schroeder said. “Ever since that moment, I’ve always played for her. I have a necklace I wear every game. You’re not supposed to wear jewelry, but I hide it so I can play for her.”