Wed 15 May 2013
Higher quality video is at end of story (Vimeo may be blocked at your school)
Opinion by Ray Wolf
As I was setting up my video equipment in the orchard above the Etna softball field on Tuesday, I took a moment to watch and listen to the Lady Lion player introductions before their playoff game against Quincy. I had been aware of it all season, yet I was still struck by just how young the Etna team is.
The pitcher and catcher, Izzy Duerr and Sage Gomes are sophomores. At third base, Molly Schaefer is a freshman, as is Dani Eiler at shortstop. At second base is sophomore Renee Finley. In right field, frosh Kortni Bennett, and in left is junior Kelsey Eastlick. Designated hitter? Sophomore Mariya Whittaker. Even the coach, Harold Bennett, is only in his second varsity season.
Of the 10 players to start the game, only two are seniors. Jessie Eiler at first base, and Jasmine Bigham in center field.
The youth of the team isn’t a big surprise. It often happens in small school softball. What is pretty special is that this team of mainly freshman and sophomores are the Shasta Cascade League co-champions at 11-1. And, they were the three-seed in the NSCIF D-V playoffs–one win from being the two-seed. Even more impressive is that the young players more than did their part.
Stats for the team aren’t completely up to date, but if you went to MaxPreps you would see Gomes led the team in batting at .545 with 31 runs, 31 RBIs and 2 home runs. Schaefer .471, 30 runs, 21 RBIs and a dinger. Kortni Bennett .471, 19 runs, 22 RBIs. I’m not going to list ever player, but suffice it to say that the team batted .403, with 11 out of the 14 players on the roster batting .353 or better. Five players hit at least one home run. Four hit two or more. (more…)Share on Facebook