By Jeremy McDonald
KEIZER, Ore.– It’s not a long period of time that they get to be together, but it’s better than nothing.
The possibility of them playing together once again, defending their Mountain Valley Conference title, is still there as they take turns at each of the three stations that Head Coach Kevin Wise set up for them Friday afternoon on the McNary JV field.
“For them, it’s great. For us adults, I go home after this and like, ‘yes!’. I feel so good, the days that we don’t have it, it’s like ‘ugh’. Then you come back out here and you get excited again,” said Wise. “It’s such a good group. Such a good group of girls, they get along and it’s not like they’ve missed a beat. It’s amazing.”
Much of the girls out Friday have spent the Summer and Fall playing for their respective club softball teams. The NW Vandals, the NW Bullets, etc. just staying with the game and getting out of the house during these crazy times.
It’s like they haven’t skipped a beat when they’re together even though they’ve been doing things on their own.
“It’s just so important just doing that. The individual work and then coming together, it’s like we’ve never left. Team, everything. Everyone’s working together as a team and your kind of seeing how everyone’s even working by themselves,” said Kate Ronning. “But it’s really nice. It’s been very nice to find time to play even when everything’s been crazy.
“I’ve known (softball) has been a really strong outlet for me, but more so than ever right now.”
Even with the masks on and following the social distancing rules included, it was as if Friday’s workout was a middle of the season practice as they went from hitting station-to-hitting station while working on some conditioning in between. Joking and having fun as a team would in the hunt for a playoff spot come season’s end.
Especially with the competition that could present itself in the Spring if the season goes without a hitch with the core group of girls that they have. With a week left before the four-week break before December’s twice-a-week workouts, it’s a fun thought to think about.
“It’s so exciting. If we get to play this year, it’s going to be a great year. It’s going to be a lot of competition and it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Ronning. “We have a lot of great girls, we lost one Senior last year so it’s a really core group of girls and we get along really well.”