At the dawn of this season’s new campaign, the softball team looks to add to their success from prior seasons.
This season, Bearden is led by a group of seniors that have been almost unmatched in the program’s history. This group has won 78 games over their first three seasons and now looks to add more victories to wrap up a successful high school career.
This year’s senior class – made up of Alaeni Ray (a UT commit), Dana Steinbacher, Kierstyn Freeman, Harly Hennen, Rachael Goodson, and Kelly Bozich – has finished in the top three in district over the past three seasons, including a regional appearance their freshman year. This regional appearance was the first in eight years.
“The senior class has been one of the most supported classes I have ever had,” Coach Sams said. “They have all been leaders both on and off the field.
“All of the seniors are team captains, and they are all leaders within one group.”
Added Freeman: “The seniors this year are all very strong leaders in our own ways and we compliment each other’s leadership styles. On the field, there is a great amount of trust and we can count on each other.”
As for this season, Bearden has had some difficulty in getting this season started due to the extended snow break, but teammates cite that this will not be a challenge too big to overcome.
“(We) weren’t even able to use our new hitting facility because it’s on campus, but I think the time we have gotten in looks promising,” Freeman said. “We have a really solid defensive team and a batting lineup that can hold their own at the plate.
“We’re pretty sound all around so I think we should do very well this season.”
One thing this group of seniors has not accomplished is reaching the state tournament. With high finishes in districts becoming a common theme, the next step could not be so far away.
“I think the goal for the senior class would just be to say that we gave everything we had and that we don’t have any regrets because the worst feeling is knowing that you could’ve done better,” Steinbacher said.