Charged with a competitive spirit and adrenaline, all eyes are on the ball as the batter steps up to the plate, determination sparking in her eyes as she readies herself for the incoming throw. What happens next will decide the game as only one run separates the opposing teams. Holding their breaths in nervous anticipation, the players watch on as the pitcher winds up her throw. The deafening silence rings in everyone’s ears when suddenly, the ball whizzes through the air and collides violently with a perfectly timed swing of the bat. The roar of the crowd and the batter’s teammates rise above the stadium as history is made on the field. [The dream of a softball player]

Coming into the 2018 season, determined and ready to play some ball, is the Timber Creek softball team who has big dreams of making it to playoffs.

“We practice as a team every day and work with a purpose,” junior Karizma White says passionately. “We have also been doing a lot of team building activities to build a unit.”

In past years, the team has done well in season, advancing two rounds into playoffs last year and going five rounds deep the previous year in 2016; only one round before state. Hoping to make this year the fifth consecutive year of making playoffs, the girls are starting the season with a mindset of determination.

“I want to do my part to help my team have some success throughout the season,” says sophomore Sarah Hawkins. “I’m hoping to fill the shoes of our teammates that graduated last year.”

Taking a tough blow from last year, which saw seven seniors graduate, the young team is working together to form a new, stronger bond to tackle the season with. Unique in the way that they depend on the success of multiple individuals in order to be successful, team sports rely on not just athleticism but also teamwork and sportsmanship. The main obstacle the softball team faces this season, is the delicate team connection. Team chemistry and compatibility are prime factors towards a well functioning team. However, the girls are already on top of it, working hard to bond as much as they can before the important games start up.

“Since we have such a new team, these past few weeks we’ve really been focusing on coming together to form chemistry and work out any mistakes we make throughout games so we can play at our best level during season,” White explains.

The ultimate goal of making playoffs has the girls thinking ahead. Their strategic plan of taking it one game at a time allows them to learn each other as teammates on the field and not just friends in practice. Two completely different environments, it’s crucial that they learn the workings of one another in game mode before they are put to the test of district games.

“We are working together as a team to improve our weaknesses and build a better team chemistry,” Hawkins states. “We do a lot of team defense during practice and we go out to eat together after games.”

The lady falcons are ready to bring their A-game to game field. Practicing for months and intent on showing competitors what the Timber Creek softball team is made up of, they are shaping up to be a force to be reckoned with. The youth of the team is no match for the hardwork and dedication to the sport they all share a deep love for. Possessing these skills will help them on their journey towards greatness and allow them to grow as individual and team players.

“As a team we all would love to go deep into playoffs and to prove that we have the ability of doing so,” White said. “We’ll have to work on focusing in on the present game rather than the past/future games.”