The young Ursuline softball team is rolling!
Coach Stephanie Zorn relies on strong pitching and a deep lineup. Freshman Anai Winings is the team's starting pitcher, and sophomore Ashley Pinson is back in the rotation after a wrist injury.
You're having a great season. What impresses you most about this team?
"The team is much more relaxed this year and playing with more confidence. A huge part of that comes from the energy in the dugout, which has been positive and funny. We joke that it's almost at an annoying level (for other teams). When we're relaxed and having fun, we'll give anyone a run for their money."
Other strengths of the team?
"Everyone is contributing. We have the strongest lineup Nos. 1-9 that we've ever had, and everyone has come in clutch at one point or another. We also have three players who have hit home runs so far this year. Junior Ava Goldammer and sophomore Lauren Norvell each have one, and junior Nicole Clements has knocked out six. Nicole is our offensive leader in almost every category right now, she is on fire."
What is your favorite game so far?
"My favorite so far is our win at home over JPII. We only had one more hit than them, but we stuck it out, and it ended 7-5 in our favor. We had two tough losses against JPII last year, both by one run, so this win felt good. The team earned it."
Does the team have any superstitions?
"We have our pre-game routine, including a prayer and cheer. Our two mascots Trudy, a giant bear, and Eugene, a little bear, are with us at every game. The youngest freshman on Varsity gets the honor of carrying Trudy around, and Eugene is passed down from a senior to a rising senior at our end-of-year banquet. But other than that, we are not a very superstitious team."
You will honor five special seniors later this month. What do they mean to you?
"Our program will truly miss them. I know what it's like to put four years into a program, and it's definitely not easy. To do it at Ursuline where these girls have such a rigorous academic schedule and so many other extracurricular activities, their dedication and perseverance just astounds me. They each show up every day with a smile and they work hard. I have the utmost respect for each young woman."