Softball smashing whiteboard goals to reach top of district 13-6A standings


photo or infographic by Wildkat softball

GOALS MET. After the victory against Grand Oaks, the varsity softball team takes a victory photo with their completed whiteboard goals. The team is 3-0 in district and at the top of district 13-6A.

Bottom of the 7th, tied ball game against the Grand Oaks Grizzlies, one last goal to “answer back” and win it all. Mazzlyn Heyer is up to bat, The pitch is sent. She makes contact. She’s running down the first base line, the ball is being thrown and the fielder steps into the running lane and drops the ball. Madelyn Macaluso sprints from third base, heading towards home. The stands are going crazy as the winning run steps across home plate. For the first time ever, varsity softball completed every single goal on their whiteboard and are now 3-0 in District play. 

Never doubting for a second, Head Coach Shelby Tinklepaugh knew that the last goal of the night would lead to the win. 

“In the bottom of the 7th inning the only goal left to check off was ‘answer back’,” Tinklepaugh said. “Grand Oaks had just hit a two run homerun to tie the game up, so it couldn’t have been more perfect that this was the final goal left on the board. The team was excited and determined to check it off, then they answered back and we won the game.” 

These goals were set in play for these young athletes to obtain and put into effect in every game. A white dry erase board with a a check list is in the dugout with the team. They check the boxes as goals are met during the game. 

“The whiteboard goals makes the team work towards each goal both offensively and defensively,” senior Lainey Niederhofer said. “They give us motivation and a drive to achieve every goal each game.” 

ALL CHECKED OFF. A close up of the completed whiteboard after the Grand Oaks game.

The end goal can’t be fulfilled without working together to complete each and every goal. 

“I am extremely proud of the girls for competing and completing each of our goals,” senior Jolie Boyd said. “We reached all of these goals during the game against Grand Oaks, and it ultimately led to another dub in the book.” 

Succeeding in the little things will lead to not just the ultimate goal of winning, but to the pride and joy of putting their hard work in and getting an accomplishment out of it. 

“The meaning behind the whiteboard goals is accomplishing the little things for a more rewarding outcome,” junior Sydni Garcia said. “My favorite goal is ‘beat’ whoever we’re facing because it’s not only another win but proof of all of us working together to accomplish our goals.” 

Junior year for these seniors was when these goals were first started, and now within every game it is the ultimate goal to check off as many as possible by executing each job. 

“Coach Lara created the whiteboard goals because she wanted to create something for us to work toward throughout the game,” senior Lindsey Hues said. “Our goal ‘score first’ is my favorite, being that it sets the tone and momentum for the game.” 

True dedication is never unnoticed, and when it is applied into something that each player strives to achieve and believe in, success becomes more than just a win in the book. 

“It’s a great feeling as a coach to see when your athletes truly buy into something they believe in,” Coach Leechelle Lara said. “Win or lose, completing the whiteboard goals or not, I am always proud of this group of girls. When you spend so much time with them, as we do, they become family and when you see all the hard work they put day in and day out it’s hard to not be proud of them.”