As is often the case this time of the year, the biggest winner so far this softball season has been Mother Nature.
Since we all live in Ohio and not Arizona that fact is understandable, but it does not mean a team like the Fitch Lady Falcons cannot get a little frustrated by it. Fitch was supposed to already have played large contests with schools such as Ravenna, Canfield and Salem, but instead have had to find other ways to get their competitive juices flowing.
“The weather is driving us all a little crazy,” wrote Fitch head coach Melody Ward in an email, “but we have been doing team building exercises and coming together as a team. We have spiced up practice by competing in competitive games during practice.”
Playing scrimmages amongst themselves is fine, but Ward still needs to find ways for her pitchers, especially number one starter Amanda Callahan, to stay game ready. With that in mind, Ward has had her entire battery building their strength for a few weeks now.
“Our pitchers and catchers have been throwing since Feb. 20,” wrote Ward, “and our whole team has been practicing since March 7. This is a great time to fine-tune our game. Having these extra practices will allow us to focus on the little things that will make or break us in games. If we have a down streak in a game we can rely on these practices to get us out of our funk.”
Coach Ward has also found funky ways for her team to stay focused off the field as well. The Fitch girls all went together to Kalahari Waterpark in Sandusky to relax and unwind a bit. If an activity such as that can build team unity during this down stretch then the Falcons have a chance to make the rest of their opponents all wet.
“We are continuing to build relationships between teammates,” Ward explained. “We always say that the team that gets along together off the field will always play harder for each other on the field. We always say that our toughest opponent we face is ourselves and these rain days give us a chance to challenge ourselves mentally. As long as we keep the players focused then we will keep improving as a team.”
Fitch will need to focus because tough Federal League games are about to start like ones with Massillon Jackson and Massillon Perry. Although the Falcons are building character and having some fun before they finally take the field, you can’t fault them for wanting to hear the umpire yell out “play ball.”
“We have not played a single game yet and everyone is anxiously awaiting that first pitch,” exclaimed Ward.