As the field turns: softball players are overcoming problems early in the year

March 29, 2016 — by Nupur Maheshwari and Olivia Lu

As the softball season starts, the players have been to taking on other teams, in addition to a larger problem — the school’s new field.

The delay in finishing the field’s construction and various problems with the new design have caused conflicts with the team’s practice schedule.

“[The construction workers] just finished the dugouts and we already had to cancel games because they didn't finish,” senior first baseman Savannah Green said. “It makes it difficult having both JV and varsity practice because we only have one of the batting cages on the side other than the field.”

In addition to the issue with the dugouts, the pitcher’s circle was built too small but was temporarily fixed by cutting out an extra portion of the turf near the front.

According to second baseman Stephanie Hayes, the delay has impacted the team by pushing back games, making the physical aspect of softball a lot more strenuous on their bodies.

Along with the hardships with the renovation with the field, the girls are off to a shaky start to their season.

Playing away at rival Los Gatos on March 25, the team lost 1-0. The Falcons, after the heartbreaking loss, dropped to second to last in the De Anza League, with their their record at 2-2.

Junior shortstop Rachel Davey led the team with two hits, and senior captain Eleni Spirakis and Hayes added hits as well. Spirakis put in a strong pitching performance in allowing only one run.

The team also lost its first game against Monta Vista 6-1 on March 16, but won its games against Prospect 4-3 on March 21 and Wilcox 1-0 on March 23.

“We have been focusing on communication and hitting,” Green said. “[Our] weaknesses are all just from the fact that we have only been a full team for one week so far because of basketball.”

The team believes that its strengths tie in with not losing too many players due to graduation, so it will continue this season like last year. Hoping that the adjust to the field comes easier, the team makes do with its current situation.

“In general, turf is just strange to play on and it tends to form bad habits,” Hayes said.  “We’ll see the biggest effect when we play away games on dirt fields, because we’re so use to the high bounce the ball gets on the turf.”

The team must keep certain things in mind games on turf as opposed to dirt fields, such as sliding distance and blocking techniques for catchers. The team has gone over these adjustments, however, making the transitions between playing at home and away “doable, just difficult,” Hayes said.

Due to printing deadlines we are unable to cover the game against Los Altos at home on March 28 and the away game against Milpitas on April 1.