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The Red & Black

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Full Circle Season

The collaboration of the Varsity Girls' Softball Team gave them a season that started and ended with a win of the same score.

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Senior Day -- all smiles as the senior players end their PatMed career with a win!

Senior Day -- all smiles as the senior players end their PatMed career with a win!

Photo by R. Butzke

Photo by R. Butzke

Senior Day -- all smiles as the senior players end their PatMed career with a win!

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The Varsity Raider Softball team is a crew of thirteen moving parts who have learned to move as one. We are not only a team but a family, and we have formed bonds which will never be broken nor forgotten even as we move on to different pursuits.

Coach Dave Gervino has been a huge part of this as he has brought us together like no other coach could have. He is fun, encouraging, caring, and above all, a wonderful teacher. He has kept us together through the ups and the downs, even when many of us have wanted nothing more than to give up. He is a man of many quirks like the fact that he will not ride a bus under any circumstance (unless Butzke can’t make the game, and even then he does so begrudgingly with the windows wide open) and he is also terrified of birds. He is the absolute prank master (we haven’t been able to surpass his genius, but we will) and he is one of the best coaches we have ever had the pleasure of playing for; were there any questions, comments or concerns? No, because he is splendid! Our assistant coach Butzke is the man of the hour — he has been the outfield’s drill sergeant or is known to point out an umpire’s wrong call. He always has each of our backs at first base and he does his best to get us the call we deserve.

As “G” always refers to us, we are a team filled with new moving parts. The majority of our team graduated last year and new and upcoming members were left with huge shoes to fill. Freshman Katarina Saxen has stepped into centerfield and absolutely excelled at the plate and out on the field, making extraordinary dives. Savannah Cardenales, also a freshman, has stepped into several roles and played them all in true style, savagely. Though some of our exceptional new players are somewhat older; for example: Megan Vandorn, a junior pitcher and first baseman,  as well as Mellany McClinchy, our sophomore left fielder and occasional short stop.

Our exceptional senior captains, Erin Bigotti, Alisa Oppenheimer, Caitlyn Burgbacher, and I have stepped up as influential leaders of the team. Erin Bigotti has shown strength and endurance  pitching nearly every one of our games and Alisa Oppenheimer has shown true versatility in her switch from second base to outfield. Our final captain, our catcher and junior, Britney Balbera has had a splendid season behind the plate both offensively and defensively; she will likely continue to lead the Varsity Softball team in her senior as she has this year.

On May 9th, Raider Varsity Softball won their senior day game in a dramatic upset against the league champions, Brentwood High School. Going into the bottom of the seventh with a tied game, Katalina hit a single to lead off the inning with one out. Up next, I hit a long single to drive Kat to third and into scoring position. Junior, Britney Balbera hit the walk off line drive to left field to score the winning run. As seniors we couldn’t be more proud and thankful of the game we played. We ran full cycle, winning our first game with a walk off 5-4win and the last game of our season in a walk off 5-4 win.

Even though our season is coming to an end, and the four other seniors and I will be moving on to bigger -and more expensive- things, Varsity Raider Softball will forever be a part of our fondest memories from our high school years. Thank you Raider Softball for the friendships we’ve made this year that will always be a part of us, fighting side by side with girls who can relate to how bad you want to win, how hard you want to play, and the feeling you get when we’re standing out on that dirt and grass.  I am exceptionally grateful for my time on this team and I will never be able to thank G and Butzke enough for the opportunity to be a part of this amazing and wonderful environment. 

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Full Circle Season