The Girls Softball Season Looks Forward to Climbing Up The Rankings

Right Fielder Linda Le going for a bunt hit.

After some minor setbacks during the start of the season, the 12 members of the Malden High Softball team, led by Senior Captain Lissette Curran and Junior Captain Peyton Lightbody, looked to rebound against their Northeast Conference opponent, Lynn Classical Rams, at Callahan Park.

The first couple of innings for both teams were similar and uneventful, with great defensive plays being made and solid pitching with many balls being groundouts and pop-ups.

In the bottom of the third inning, Senior Linda Le tried getting on base by bunting, but was thrown out at first. Shortly after, Curran walked. The pace of the inning kicked up after Sophomore Julisa Ramirez hit a line drive down center field and reached second base on an error.

With runners on second and third base, Lightbody was able to send a ball into deep center field to get both of her teammates to score and collected two RBIs. The inning ended with a score of 2-0, Malden leading.

The top of the fourth inning brought a response from Lynn Classical after three of the hitters got on base, and following a shot deep into right field brought the game within one point for the Rams. The next hitter up would bring two more Rams home to turn the game in Lynn Classical’s favor 3-2. One more runner would get a hit, but Le was able to catch them out in the right field to end the top of the inning.

Malden was starting to feel the pressure coming on to them to respond to Lynn Classical, but was unable to score during the bottom of the fourth despite getting a runner in scoring position. With the momentum now swinging in their favor, the Rams were able to open the top of the fifth with their first hitter getting on base and then stealing second. Their following hitters were able to start opening the floodgates by rallying in more and more hitters with a mix of bunt hits that Malden was unable to adjust to. By the end of the inning, the Rams were up 8-2.

In the bottom of the fifth, Malden was unable to close the gap, despite Lightbody forcing an error after hitting the ball into left field and then stealing second base. The top of the sixth was another well-played inning by Lynn Classical featuring their second batter hitting a triple, multiple stolen bases and their sixth hitter blasting a two-run home run to punctuate the inning.

Thereafter, Malden was unable to mount a comeback in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings, which resulted in a final score of 15-2 with Lynn Classical taking the win. 

The season is going just as great as I’d hoped for… the girls, including myself, get along so well and we are able to have fun with one another while picking each other up and giving each other support,” first baseman Meryem Hakkaoui said. Hakkaoui thought she could improve her play by “focusing even more on skills during practice that I know I would need help with, make sure to eat the best I can when I can so I’m energized and also make sure to do my best to stay positive because negative thinking makes errors.”

This new season has brought a new understanding of the team for Hakkaoui which comes as a surprise even though she is a junior. “I have learned that everyone is very flexible with the sport. This way even though we are a small team, we all back each other up and can switch up our plays. I’ve also learned that we are all very competitive, which is a great thing to make a winning season. One last thing is that everyone loves to laugh and has a great sense of humor. I knew this about everyone as individuals but as a team, we’re just a big group of comedians.”

With enough improvements to the team, Hakkaoui is confident Malden can “be a force in our division.” She followed that statement up by saying, “Another thing is just trying to take practice seriously and keep in mind as individuals the things we would like to improve on in order to benefit the team. Regardless, we are a group of talented hardworking girls so at the end of the day it comes down to our positivity and energy in those last few innings.”

Being a captain of the team has let Lightbody be able to “lead in games and practices just by being confident in my teammates.” She added on to this saying, “I love my team and I trust them all so leading a group of people who I know will always have my back just comes naturally when I [want to] put my best foot forward for myself, team and my coaches.”

“This season I hope to reach my goal of reaching 100 strikeouts in one season. So far in six games, I have 46 so I’m hoping I’ll get there this season if not next year,” said Lightbody when asked about any goals she set for herself at the start of the season.

At the start of the season when Lightbody was given the opportunity to be a team captain, she “took the offer to be a captain of this team because [she] loves this sport and the thought of getting to lead an amazing group of people is a reward no matter our outcome.” Lightbody said being a captain comes with some benefits since she “gets to do it alongside my best friend which makes it even more worth it!”

Currently, the team sits towards the bottom of the Northeast division at 11th place, but with a majority of the season left, there is plenty of time for the Golden Tornados to shoot up the standings with a long winning streak.

All photos taken by Nathan Dean.

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