All photos taken by Nathan Dean.

Another year has come and gone for the Golden Tornados softball team. To celebrate their last home game of the season, the team hosted a senior night to celebrate the few players who will be going away to college soon: Meryem Hakkaoui, Kiley Fray, Noelle Hayes, and Peyton Lightbody.

The game against Revere, unfortunately, ended 10-6 in Revere’s favor. Following this game, the team would need to win all five of the remaining games to advance to the State Tournament. This year, this was not possible, but hopes remain high for future seasons. 

Senior Maryem Meryem Hakkaoui behind home plate as catcher. NATHAN DEAN

The loss against Revere was surprising, considering Malden won their first game against Revere in a devastating 20-4 win. “Revere came back with a team that we weren't expecting,” explained Lightbody. Hayes was also shocked by the new Revere team: “They were just a completely different team than who they were the first time we went against them, so you can’t really prepare yourself for that,” she said.

Though the team will not be participating in the state tournament this year, there have been important positives to take away from the season. “We have had a lot of fun and there have been some close games that have helped prove to ourselves how successful we can be when we work together and play our game,” said Coach Jessalynne Brideau.

The team has also improved significantly. “Communication on the field has been a huge improvement,” noted Brideau. “Each of the players is thinking of the next play ahead and are talking to one another about where the next play is, how many outs there are, etc. It is a team sport and I feel like all of these girls continue to work really well together.”

Hayes also noticed improvements in another aspect: “We were hitting pretty well, which was different for us because we’ve been having trouble hitting recently.”

For the seniors, this team is really important and will be missed greatly. For Lightbody, who has been playing on the team since 7th grade, the team has begun to feel “like my family.” She mentioned specifically how much Coach Rebecca Krigman has done for her. “Krigman is like my best friend… I can always go to her for anything and crack a joke, and she is just always there for me and brought my love for the game back.” Hayes also praised Coach Krigman: “She always makes it really fun and she’s probably one of the best coaches I’ve had.” 

Hayes will also miss the team a lot. “The team means a lot to me. A lot of the girls on the team I’ve played with my entire softball career.” She explained that she grew up with the team and it will be hard to let it go. She also added that she has built relationships with the team on and off the field. “I will miss the friendships I have with these girls… I am going to miss all the jokes and everything.” 

Moving forward, the team will need to find a new pitcher seeing as their only pitcher, Lightbody, will be graduating, but she believes that “this team has drive, and if there is a will, there is a way.” 

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