Softball tryouts set for this week


photo or infographic by Stephanie Keele

REACHING. At the game before Christmas where the softball and baseball teams played a co-ed scrimmage, sophomore Kynlei Chapman stretches’ to catch a ball in the outfield.

Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.

The softball program has worked hard every season, pushed past obstacles and played together every year to make a great season. After a successful 2021 season competing against tough 6A teams, the team has big goals for 2022. Tryouts for the team are Friday and Saturday. 

At this year’s tryouts mental toughness, hard work, speed and coachability is what the coaches are seeking.

“Most kids who are trying out have been in the class period all year and have been ‘trying out’ every single day,” Coach Shelby Tinklepaugh said. “We are looking for hardworking young ladies who are coachable and willing to come out and put in 100% effort to get better everyday.”

As a varsity returner, junior Lainey Niederhofer knows to leave it all on the field. 

“Give it all you got and don’t be nervous,” Niederhofer said. “If there is a close ball dive for it. Show the coaches that you are good enough to be on the team. I think this season is going to be good for the program as a whole, and we are gonna compete pretty well.” 

Important aspects of the young ladies’ mental game are being looked for in order to build them for success and create a strong, ready team. 

“I believe mental toughness is going to be the most important aspect of the game this year,” Tinklepaugh said. “Being able to make mid-game adjustments and to not get down on ourselves when we make an error or strike out is key –  to know that play doesn’t matter anymore and to keep our heads up and be ready for the next one. You never know when it is going to be your time to have a big moment, and being in the right headspace when that opportunity comes is very important so that you can be set for success.” 

While tryouts can feel as though they’re being put on the spot, certain people have that mental toughness to see past the stress and worries. 

“I’m not stressed about softball tryouts,” freshman Sydney Prihoda said. “My goal for this upcoming season is to help out my team as much as possible.” 

This season is going to push these athletes harder than before, make them work twice as hard, and compete to their fullest. 

“The goal for the season is to win district and to make it further in the playoffs than we did the previous year,” Tinklepaugh said. “Last year, we made it to the second round. We have a tough district, and to get there we will need to come out each day and work to be the best we can possibly be. I always tell them, what are you doing differently each day that other teams aren’t doing to get where you want to be?”