Sweet Spot

Softball clinches playoff berth in play-in game, swept in round one series by Bowie

Caleb Wiesenhutter, Reporter

As the sun glistens down on the field, the softball team is hard at work, prepping for what could be the final game of their season. Senior Brianna Fulgencio works on her batting in the cage, not wanting the season to come to an end.

“I was honestly not very happy about being in a tiebreaker to determine our season,” Fulgencio said. “I felt like we could have won more games, such as our first district game against Round Rock. We went into it really nervous and it impacted everyone’s game. Our last regular season game against Pflugerville is another, we went in really flat, and if we would’ve won that game, we wouldn’t have had to be in the tiebreaker in the first place.”

The team ended the season, tied for fourth in district with Pflugerville with a 6-6 district record and matched up against them to determine the final 13-6A playoff spot for the state tournament on April 24. The game ended with 12-4 win for the Tigers. The Tigers matched up against district 14-6A champ Bowie in the first round on April 27 and 28.

“This game against Pflugerville was a very special moment for us,” senior Sarah Pederzani said. “We put everything we had into that game. All our effort, our hearts and our all out passion for the sport. Getting the win meant so much to us as a family, because we all played our hearts out for each other, and that’s not something you can find in very many teams anymore.”

The team last year, missed playoff for the first time in 9 years, and managed to win just a total of 2 district games. According to head coach Christen Jonse, the play of the freshmen and different mindsets on the team helped the team’s total rebound.

“They have really managed to fill spots that we needed last year,” Jonse said. “Everyone had a bad taste in their mouth from last year, and I think it really helped motivate the girls to come out and play harder.”

Two freshman, Olivia Garza and Gabby Adams, have started for the team all season, and according to Jonse, along with many players, the two stepped in immediately to needed places and played well.

“I feel like I’ve been able to bring everyone up on the team this year,” Adams said. “I’ve always tried to encourage them even though I’m a freshman, and I’ve tried to just make everyone feel good about themselves. Being on varsity as a freshman, I’ve gained a lot more confidence, and it’s gone through the roof, and it’s helped me through everything this year.”

This year, many of the girls said they’ve seen a change in the relationship and attitude of the team, leading to changes in performance.

“We’ve really improved this year as a team, as a result of getting closer,” junior Bella Garcia said. “Going on our tournaments together, and seeing our teammates accomplish things really helped bonded us and get closer and when you’re closer as a team, it really helps you produce well on the field. When you’re able to do that, you’re able to get wins, which is all we need to go to playoffs in our districts.”

One of the team’s main goals this year was to go into the playoffs and get past the first round.

“We’ve never beaten Bowie before,” Fulgencio said. “I [wanted] to make school history, but it feels great to know that the hard work we put in to get this playoff spot, with all our practices and every single girls’ improvement from last year to now isn’t finished yet.”

Fulgencio is crushed by the loss in her final game of the year against Bowie, but still appreciates all the memories she has made.

“One of the toughest things is knowing I won’t be able to play for Stony Point anymore,” Fulgencio said. “It was my last time playing with the girls here, and I feel like we had really strong relationships that grew all season long, and they are all like sisters to me. They have always had my back even when I messed up, and it was good to know they would always pick me up when I was down and I’ll miss that.”