Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

The St. George’s softball team sees new changes on and off the field


Photo: Jordan Giles

Jada Olende ’25 speeds to home plate.

The softball team is making a comeback.Though the team has been historically small, St. George’s is revamping the program to make their softball team bigger and better.

Senior and first baseman Madline Clarke remarked that new changes have taken place on and off the field.

“We are doing a lot more conditioning, a lot more strength training to build our stamina which I think is great, and [our coach] is not going easy on us,” said Clarke. “She’s really holding the hammer down and holding us accountable and not treating this team like a joke.”

Jessie McGuire, Head Varsity Softball Coach, added that the team is working on improving their communication skills.

“Communication is something we have really started focusing on hard this year,” she said.

Not only is the team expanding, but St. George’s has improved facilities for the team to utilize.

Coach McGuire also noted the installation of a new turf bullpen.

“We will be able to use [the new bullpen] whether it’s been raining or not. Last year, we had issues with [the old bullpen] flooding, so the girls are really excited.”

Excitement is a recurring theme this season.

Sophomore and right fielder Jada Olende shared what she is looking forward to this year.

“I am excited for the new team members to feel the joy that we feel as seasoned players, and for us to be a team and a family,” she said.

Junior Avah Lareau, a catcher, also shared her excitement about the new developments this season.

“I am very excited for all the new things we are getting… The new bullpen is… a really big deal for me… We also got completely new uniforms. And there [are] also just so many new people so it’s like an opportunity for people to play different positions,” she said.

Coach McGuire is also optimistic about having a larger team.

“This year we’re able to… start with more difficult things. So instead of teaching [the players], like, ‘Hey, you run from first to second when the ball is hit’, now we can teach them other things like… taking more risks, and pushing them in terms of pitch locations… trying to hit the ball in different spots instead of just making contact,” she added.

There are also changes taking place off of the field, like a push for more attention to the softball program. The softball team has historically been a lot smaller than the baseball team, and according to some, less represented.

“The baseball boys…[went] to Florida during spring break to do more scrimmages. The softball team doesn’t get that opportunity… we’re not really getting those chances,” said Olende.

Will Bladt, Interim Athletic Director, shared the St. George’s athletic travel policy.

“The school will fund one outof- town trip (transportation and hotels) per varsity sport for a 3-day duration,” he said.

Regardless of the softball team’s travel situation, Lareau agreed, expressing the difference between the representation of the baseball and softball teams.

“I don’t think I’ve really heard anybody talk about softball unless you play the sport.” Lareau said, “There are always a lot more people at the baseball games and the only people in the stands at the softball games are parents.”

To try to get more people excited about softball, the team increased its social media presence.

“We have an Instagram account to post our workouts and fun videos and pictures to try and get people to see it on their phones because… it’s gonna help us get a crowd … [which is] something we are really working on,” Clarke said.

But arguably, the biggest change this year is the sense of community that the team has built.

“I like that it’s such a wide range of people who are [playing this year]… there [are] freshmen and there [are] also seniors and people who haven’t played and there [are] people who [have]. So we get to talk to everybody and it also helps us like talk more in school… It’s a nice support system,” expressed Lareau.

Clarke expanded on the fact that the team works to build a community.

“Every time we’re on the field we make it as family-like as possible and… [be] as encouraging as possible,” added Clarke.

Coach McGuire mentioned importance of building a strong support system for the team.

“The girls are really good at supporting each other in terms of … like everybody makes mistakes. It’s okay. Yeah. And saying, hey, let’s just have fun, like, it’s gonna be okay,” she said.

Though they might not get the recognition they desire, the softball players know that they will always have each other.

“I think not winning as many games allowed us to appreciate each other more because that’s what we had, whether we won or lost,” said Olende.