veritas exquirere

Talon

veritas exquirere

Talon

veritas exquirere

Talon

OPHS Girls Softball Preview

2024 expectations and current results

Oak Park High School girls softball 2024 season is starting off with a great hit. JV won 11-4 against Oxford and varsity narrowly lost 3-5 to close Oxford on Feb. 12. “We’re excited for a good season,” sophomore JV centerfield Olivia Manabe said. “Honestly it’s really just hanging out with the team and talking to the girls. We all just get to learn about each other and it’s fun.”

Head JV softball coach Scott Barker believes that the girls have developed into a strong team, even with the limited time they had. 

“By our first game on February 12, we will have had a total of 20 practices,” Barker said. “I estimated we’d have approximately 35 hours of practice time to prepare for the season. We’ve used that limited time to work on individual fielding & batting skills, as well as situations and a little conditioning. We have a lot more work to do and I expect this team to have an upward trajectory of success on the field over the course of the season.”

Head varsity softball coach Eric Pryor is impressed with the girls’ power and skill.

“One of our strengths is our defense, we have returning starters on the infield, and our outfielders are athletic,” Pryor said. “We also have good power in the middle of our line-up, so getting runners on base will be an important part of our success.”

Practice isn’t the only part of girls softball that creates team building. Being around one another and understanding everyone’s strengths as well as weaknesses brings the team together.

“The more they get to know each other and bond as a team, the more competitive they will be,” Barker said. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the talent-level of our players and I have very high expectations for this team.”

Pryor added that the girls’ grit for victory is pushing the team to new levels. 

“We hope to build upon the success of our past two seasons, in which both Varsity and JV had winning seasons for the first time in eight years,” Pryor said.  

Sophomore JV first base, Joely Chadwick, affirms that the team’s efforts creates an unfettered team.

“It was good to win in our first game, it gave us confidence to keep going,” Chadwick said. “It was a good way to start the season off. The coach is really conditioning us to be successful.”

The players at the start of the season filled out a self-evaluation form, where the feedback created what Barker called “a foundation of what the players felt they needed to improve on.” 

Analyzing the team’s set up, Barker notes: “This team has some strong athletes who can hit and field. We also have a couple of strong pitchers. I believe we have the ability to make plays on defense, put the ball in play on offense and run the bases with good speed.”

After 18 years of coaching, Barker remarks on some common issues that the players need to improve on. 

“The areas we need to improve on are: softball IQ (knowledge of what to do and when to do it); confidence; and the ‘mental’ side of the game,” Barker said. “I’m a big believer that softball players don’t spend enough time improving their mental approach to the game. We have specific things I have my players do to learn how to handle errors/mistakes and to not let those errors/mistakes affect their mindset and gameplay. They are just starting to learn how to handle the mental side of the game.”

The girls softball team is ready to take flight and reach new heights.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Talon
$288
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Oak Park High School - CA. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Justine Picard, Senior Staff Writer

Class of 2026

Justine has been part of the Talon staff for 2 years. She has previously served as a Senior Staff Writer and enjoys writing news and graphic design pieces.

Donate to Talon
$288
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Talon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar