Softball team hopes to mirror 2019’s successful season

Jaci Shumway takes some cuts in the batting cage. Photo by Anthony Militano
Jaci Shumway takes some cuts in the batting cage. Photo by Anthony Militano

The girls softball team went deep into the playoffs last year and coach Brook Shumway is confident the Red Devils will work hard and have a good 2020 season. 

“We are still pretty young, we only have one senior, but we are pretty young every year, we never have big senior classes. We really only lost three girls last year, but our younger girls are a year older and a year more mature and they had the experience of going to state last year, where we had a deep run … so I feel we are ahead of where we were last year already, which means I think we can play with anybody in the state,” Shumway said. “I’m excited to be here. I think the girls are excited to get back on the field. Spring is a fun time of the year.”

The Red Devils are composed of four freshmen, six sophomores and two juniors. Chloe Book is the lone senior this year. Book has earned the respect of her younger peers, but she did not gain that admiration automatically because of her age. Book earned her senior stripes by being a knowledgeable mentor. 

At a recent practice session, Book showed sophomore Hallie Packard and freshman Gracie Martinez the right way to swing the bat. “I’m teaching fence hits, and helping improve their hits  by moving their hips,” Book explained. “We’re going over bats throws, too, which helps follow through on swings.  

Packard and Martinez appeared grateful for Book’s wisdom and when their time came to step up to the plate, they did so with a noticeable boost of confidence. Martinez had a few good chops at the ball  — then her bat broke clean in two. 

Paige Shumway was initially upset over the broken bat. The bat was used last season and went to the playoffs with the team, so it had a certain sentimental value.

Martinez was apologetic, but Shumway was not genuinely saddened. Broken bats are part of the game. 

“It was old and actually kind of brittle,” Shumway said. “I’m going to ask the school for a new bat, a stronger bat.”

The season opener is in Moab when the Red Devils face the Richfield Ladycats on Tuesday, March 10.