Spartan’s Softball Swings Through Another Successful Season
Jun 13, 2016 10:18AM
● By Sarah Almond
Members of Murray High School’s varsity softball team practice bunting the ball during a sunny afternoon practice. Hitting was one of the team’s strongest suits this year.
Spartan’s Softball Swings Through Another Successful Season [2 Images] Click Any Image To Expand
By Sarah Almond | [email protected]
Murray High School’s softball team has concluded yet another successful season, ending with a 17-5-1 overall record.
“Overall it’s been a pretty darn-good season,” said head coach Lisa Parker. “It’s been enjoyable.”
Parker, who’s been coaching softball for 25 years, has coached many of Murray’s 22 players since they were children. Even with her experience, though, she acknowledges the challenges that accompany almost every softball season.
“It’s been a different season this year, but it’s been good,” said Parker. “It’s been interesting trying to figure out the puzzle pieces where everyone is going to fit.”
Though there weren’t a lot of new girls on the varsity team this year, Parker says that finding what combinations of players work best on the field is a common challenge she and her assistant coaches face.
“We have 11 kids that could be starters right now and they are all about the same level,” Parker said. “Just trying out what’s going to be the best thing and where everybody is going to be the best for the team has been a process. We are still trying to figure it out.”
With the Spartan’s regular season ending the third week in May, Parker and her assistant coaches were hoping they’d find the winning combination sooner rather than later.
Though the girl’s lost their second-to-last conference game against Lehi, they reigned dominate against Judge Memorial with a 15-0 win, and ended their regular season on a high note. And with a 12-0 regional record, the Spartans consider this to be one successful season.
“We’ve sewn up the region championships,” said Parker, with just two games left to play in the season. “And we’ve been playing pretty solid this year. But when we get to state it’s going to be a bit of a different ball game because the regions up north and down south are a lot stronger than ours.”
Alta, Box Elder, and Spanish Fork are some of Murray’s biggest competitors in the state tournament, but Parker is confident in the skills of her players.
The group is evenly split between JV and varsity, making for a well-balanced team.
“This year has been the most fun,” said senior captain Erin Hohnholt. “We have such a good chemistry and there is no drama at all. Every body seems to be on the same page and working hard.”
Hohnholt, who was one of four seniors on the team this year, said that the upperclassmen tried hard to set a positive example for the younger players and end the season as a strong, united team.
“This is a good, nice group of kids,” Parker said. “I’ve coached the four graduating seniors since they were 10 years old, so they’ve been really fun to watch.”
Murray’s shining moment, Parker said, was when varsity had a triple play against Cyprus High School on April 28.
“A highlight for me was our beautiful triple play against Cyprus,” Parker said. “It was awesome. We had a fly ball to our right fielder and she caught it. They had runners at two and three and we cutoff the girl on third, got her in a hot box and their runner from second was tagged by our shortstop who turned around and tagged the girl hot boxed on third. It was pretty sweet.”
This impressive play came just one day after Parker worked with the girls on improving their defense.
“We really needed to make more of a statement with our defense,” Parker said. “So that was really the statement I was looking for.”
Parker was impressed at how hard the team worked to improve since day one of the season, and this triple play was a great reflection of their hard work. For Hohnholt and the other members of the team, though, working hard is what being a Spartan softball player is all about.