Ozark Varsity Softball Swings for the Fences

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Alexis Zitzke

The Varsity Softball team gathers by the dugout before beginning a new inning.

Alexia Zitzke, Writer

The sun blares down on a hot September day. For most, being active outdoors in the heat is not ideal, but for softball players, a hot fall day on the field is a second home. This year, the varsity softball team worked hard to improve in all aspects of their game.

Softball season started late in the summer and lasted until October. Every day after school, this group of girls was on the field for hours working hard on the sport they loved so much.

The team was lead by Head Coach Jimmy Nimmo and Assistant Coaches Adam Erickson and Diane Luttrell. With years of coaching under his belt, Coach Nimmo had high expectations for the team this season.

“Our main goal was to improve day by day. And of course, this year, like any other year, we had our eyes set on a District and Conference Title.”

Coach Nimmo also set a goal to finish with a 20 win season, but unfortunately, the team fell slightly short, finishing with a 15-15 season. With a number of invitationals and tournaments, the team did a lot of traveling this season.

At the Rolla Invitational Tournament, the team won three out of their five games. They also participated in the District Tournament but were unfortunately outplayed by Nixa. At the Central Ozark Conference, the team went 5-4. Juniors Kenna Mayfield and Emily Schmucker, and seniors Maddy Spies and Reagan Dickinson all won postseason awards. 

Looking back on the season, many of the players said they will not remember each game, but the family they created through the sport. Senior pitcher Hattie Depee said, “Softball has taught me that it’s important to have a good support system. I wouldn’t have made it through the sport without my teammates.” 

Coach Nimmo and Coach Erickson also reflected on the season and the team and there is no doubt about the pride they have for their players.

“The relationship that they built on and off the field was great to see. Overcoming defeat and developing mental toughness was a hurdle I didn’t expect, but they proved to us that they could do it. We coaches always had faith in these ladies,” said Nimmo. 

Although the season’s success is a matter of opinion, there is no denying that this group of girls created a bond on and off the field.