I.S. Baseball and Softball: Now With a Twist

Ms. Stein

Alejandra M.

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May 21, 2016 – The I.S. softball and baseball teams are having an enthralling season. Like most sports in the I.S.,  there is an A team and a B team. The A team consists of more experienced players, often eighth graders but some seventh graders. The B team consists of players who have not had much experience and need more adjusting to the sport.

The I.S. boys’ A baseball team includes members of both grade levels and is coached by Coach Adamec and Coach Mulzac. Michael D. (8) notes a difference between this year’s and last year’s A team baseball experience: “Last year the eighth graders were in more of a dominant position, [whereas] this year it has been pretty much equal between the seventh and eighth graders. The seventh graders are now sometimes taking the leadership role… This year I think that there is an attempt to treat everybody equally, and nobody is the slightest bit superior. This changes who leads the team in warm-ups and in the games.”

Henry B. (7), who has had previous baseball experience outside of school, says, “The experience here for baseball is quite interesting. The coaches here treat us nicely, and we get better as a team.”

When it comes to practices, both Henry and Michael say that their practice warm-ups are always different, but most of the time they run, stretch, and throw. Sometimes they practice with a game of “pepper,” which helps them with their swing control. They then continue hitting or fielding for the rest of the day.

The I.S. boys’ B baseball team is coached by Coach Hutton and Coach Lee. The team has an interesting twist this year: it’s the first time a girl has played on the baseball team. Emily D. (7) explains what prompted her to do boys’ baseball instead of girls’ softball: “I have been watching baseball more than softball, and I suppose that translated into me wanting to play baseball.”

Coach Lee tells us about the experience of having a girl on the team: “It has been great having [Emily] with us on the I.S. boys’ baseball team, and it has changed nothing of how we practice, warm-up, how we play our games, etc.”

Rocco B. (7) explains how the B team practices for games: “We are working on all aspects of baseball, since some kids have never played baseball before. We also have a lot of games some weeks, so on practice days we will discuss what went right or wrong and how to fix it next game.”

Emily adds, “We usually warm up our arms by throwing, and then we stretch. It changes sometimes, though.”

Emily and Rocco both admit that since a lot of them haven’t played baseball before, there are mistakes here and there, but with a team like this, their mistakes are being turned into successes and they get better and better with each practice. Everyone is nice and welcoming, and it just feels like a family to them.

The I.S. girls’ A softball team consists of two seventh graders and eight eighth graders. Harper M. (8) says, “When we first get to practice, we run two laps around the field and then we warm up by throwing and catching. We also just warm up and then do drills/scrimmages for the rest of practices.”

Cassidy B. (8) tells us how it feels to be a part of the A team: “It’s a great experience. I love having the games because I feel like it’s a bonding time and it lets us use our skills that we’ve learned in practice.”

Caroline S. (8) agrees: “It’s extremely fun. I love the experience, and just practicing while having fun makes it even better!”

Harper takes a more serious approach to this topic: “Softball is so much fun, but when you’re in a game and you’re going up to bat, it becomes intense.”

Ms. Stein is a math teacher in the I.S. and also the softball coach for the A team. She has been coaching softball teams for 34 years, including her 24 years at Potomac. This year, she coaches along with Mr. Scharf.

“Most days in practice we work on all skills, including base running, fielding, throwing, and hitting,” Ms. Stein explains. “However, some days I only choose to work on one or two specific areas. That usually happens early in the season or if after a game I notice something specific that I want to address.” She adds, “The girls continue to work on improving all skills as well as gaining a better understanding of the game. It is great fun!”

The I.S. girls’ B team is coached by Ed O’Donoghue and Bruce Mckenzie. Player Jacqueline M. (8) says, “We warm up with throwing a softball back and forth, and we are currently working on our batting skills. This is my first year doing softball, but so far it has been a [good] enough experience for me. I have learned a lot so far and I like it a lot. It’s welcoming and it feels like a [good] learning environment to learn about softball.”

I.S. softball and baseball have their own ways of showing how they work together and strive to improve. All of the Intermediate School’s softball and baseball teams are exhilarated to show how successful they can be.

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