Varsity Softball preseason interrupted by extreme weather


The Catalyst / Photo Courtesy of Ava Chung

The softball team practices passing and catching indoors in NDB’s Moore Pavilion due to extreme weather and field conditions.

The extreme weather conditions occurring in California have greatly affected outdoor sports, as the spring athletics season begins. Despite attempting to start the season as normal, the softball team has had a particularly slow start.

Tryouts for the team began in early February, and practices started shortly after. The team practices daily with around three games per week. At practices, the team focuses on running plays on the bases, batting averages and building strength for the athletes. Outside of practice, each athlete must attend 20 weight sessions, one every Friday. In those sessions, the athletes work on gaining strength, stamina, flexibility and mobility.

This year, NDB’s Varsity Softball team welcomed new head coach, Alex Booker, who has
worked as the assistant coach for many years prior. She has a great deal of softball experience, and the team has enjoyed working with her already this season.

The team’s preseason games began at the end of February. They had 15 preseason games scheduled, all of which were planned for the months of February and March. Due to the persistent rain this winter, only 7 out of 15 games actually occurred. The preseason games were scheduled to allow the team to bond and play together against different teams in a mimicked game setting. Playing against these other teams from schools out of their league challenges the team and allows for good practice before the regular season begins.

Senior Alexa Couto, one of the four varsity team captains, plays as both a catcher and outfielder. She has played softball for NDB since her freshman year and has experience playing prior to high school as well.

“With the new season came a lot of change. From new teammates and new coaches to new and crazy weather,” Couto shared. “We have all had to learn to work together and adapt to these changes. In the beginning, one of the toughest things to do as a team, funny enough, was to play and interact with each other as a team. Our coaches have come up with really amazing activities to create a bond and sisterhood between all of us. This has really helped everyone play together with a team effort.”

Due to the extreme weather conditions over the past few months, the softball team faced difficulties finding practice spaces outside. The NDB softball field, located in between the beach volleyball courts and the Moore Pavilion, is a grass field, which becomes difficult to play on during the rainy weather.

The team has been forced to improvise in finding indoor places to practice in these rainy months. They have utilized the small gym, the Moore Pavilion and teammate Malaina Alifano’s batting cage. These facilities have proven to be extremely successful in maintaining the athletes’ stamina and strength while the unpredictable weather continues.

Junior Ava Chung, an outfielder on varsity, has been playing softball at NDB since her freshman year.

“We are so grateful that we have facilities to use for when it is raining outside,” Chung shared.
“Our coaches have done a great job at improvising with the circumstances so early on in the season. I am looking forward to the rain stopping and the season continuing like normal.”

The varsity team’s league games begin on March 28 with the first game being at home against King’s Academy. As the season progresses, the team continues to persevere and looks forward to playing in better weather.