Wittenberg offense too fierce for Yeo-batters
As one of the most accomplished and respected professional coaches, Vince Lombardi once said, “If you can’t accept losing, you can’t win.” It took the Red Sox 86 years to reclaim the World Series title and it’s been 97 years and the Chicago Cubs have yet to repeat their 1908 victory. As Lombardi so eloquently said, “Losing is a requirement for a successful team.” So reflecting upon Oberlin’s softball season, it should not be referred to as ending, but as just beginning.
The Yeowomen trudged to Wittenberg University this past Saturday to compete in their last games of the season. Game one proved to be a slow start for Oberlin, allowing the Tigers to bring home 10 runs in the first three innings. The Yeowomen were eager to fight back but could not bring home any runs. Sophomores Katie Dover-Taylor and Spencer McCaffrey and first-year Michelle Descheenie managed to get a chunk of the ball and land on base. The Yeowomen did not use any of the hits and game one’s shutout had a final score of 15-0.
Game two brought hope to the Yeowomen with a powerful start. As the bases loaded quickly, first-year Sophie Simon-Ortiz pounded a grounder to left center bringing in Oberlin’s only two runs of the game. In a common tendency for the Yeowomen, game two was more successful and they managed to hold the Tigers to only eight runs. With a final score of 8-2, the Yeowomen are excited more than ever for next season.
The 2005 season left Oberlin with a record of 1-24 on the season and 0-14 in the NCAC. To many teams, these numbers would be discouraging, but as a strong, united group, the Yeowomen look to the future. Senior Jaime Johnson, who had her last at-bat this past Saturday, has faith in Softball’s potential. “There is tremendous young talent and leadership on the team, and I think this will make Oberlin a really competitive team next season,” said Johnson.
With each season, great players are lost. The Red Sox lost Pedro Martinez, the Diamondbacks lost Randy Johnson, the Dodgers lost Adrian Beltre and the Oberlin Yeowomen are losing seniors Johnson and Julia Daher. The players contributed much during their four years at Oberlin and will be missed by the team.
Junior Kate Oberg, who will take the reins as a starting senior next season, commends Daher and Johnson on their games. “Julia has been incredibly important behind the plate and Jaime has been an anchor in the outfield,” said Oberg.
Daher, Oberlin’s leading catcher, has been able to witness the growth of the Yeowomen throughout the years. “This has probably been the most solid softball team I’ve been on here at Oberlin talent-wise. Our batting was much stronger than in years past, and defensively we were more solid as a unit,” said Daher.
Each player has a different idea of what made this season a success, but a common ground that they all agree on is their coach. Head Coach Johanna Van der Hulst, known to the team as Joke, has been a huge influence on the girls. “Joke is really challenging the team to work harder and improve our skills defensively and offensively,” said Johnson.
Being the first full-time head coach, Van der Hulst is building the softball program aiming for the future. “Having a full-time head coach also made a real difference this season. Joke did a really great job with us this year, and I’m sorry I won’t get the opportunity to interact with her more as an athlete,” said Daher.
With every win comes a loss and with every loss comes improvement. Like any athletic team, in order to achieve a win the players must gel together, trust each other and learn the disappointment of losing. McCaffrey understands the elements it takes to win. “Win or lose, our team had a real bond and that’s so much more important in the end,” said McCaffrey.
Each game the Yeowomen played this season taught them something different. It
is the combination of each skill that makes the team flow. As Lombardi also
said, “The spirit, the will to win and the will to excel are the things
that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that
occur.” The Yeowomen start training next semester and look forward to a