Cold start hot finish

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Cold start hot finish

Senior Lucy Hart stretches off of first base.

Senior Lucy Hart stretches off of first base.

Photo by Jonah Charlton

Senior Lucy Hart stretches off of first base.

Photo by Jonah Charlton

Photo by Jonah Charlton

Senior Lucy Hart stretches off of first base.

Benji Fervoy and Sophia McCandlish

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Following an 0-5 start, the ETHS softball team is starting to shake off the early rust. Keeping the first five games in their back pockets, they’ve gone 4-1 with a margin of victory of nine or more runs in three of those wins.

After the season came to a close in the regional finals last season, head coach Katie Perkins stepped away from the program. Instead of searching the area for a new coach, ETHS decided to promote assistant Amy Gonzales to fill the position.

“Coach Gonzales was the assistant coach for my last three years, so she’s been known,” four-year varsity player and Kalamazoo commit Lucy Hart said. “It is definitely different having a new coach, as always, but it feels like a similar environment as last year.”

Because Gonzales is already familiar with the program, not much has changed and the transition has been relatively smooth. The team’s main goal remains getting better every game during the season so their best games come in the playoffs.

“My goal for each player is to improve from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. We want to continue the commitment and hard work that the players in the past year have established,” Gonzales explained.

Following the five game losing streak, Hart felt that the team had been brought back down to Earth.

“I think we were kind of hit with reality there, we didn’t expect that,” Hart said. “I for sure didn’t expect that from last year coming from a winning season.”

The team now realizes that focus in practices and games directly translates to success. On the field, body language is of utmost importance.

“Softball is a sport where if you get out of it or thinking about something else for one second, everyone can feel that. If you aren’t focused, then the person next to you won’t be focused,” Hart said.

Focus and dedication are key assets for this team in particular. With an intense face off coming up against New Trier for the first of two times this season, the Kits look to improve the “controllables.”

“We play a very competitive schedule and the majority of the teams we have played so far this year are solid programs.” Gonzales explained. “We as a team will continue to work on both offense and defense to continue hitting and become more solid defensively.”

In light of the future ambitious schedule, the Kits look forward to two major conference games taking place on April 29 and 30, as they go head-to-head against New Trier in back to back days.

On Monday, they’ll square off with New Trier in Trevian territory, before heading back home for a rematch on Tuesday at ETHS’ varsity field at 4:45 pm.