By Jamie Belfer || Sports Editor
In an interview with TCR, softball seniors Sabrina Ryan, Ella Glenn, and Hannah Salvucci reflected on their past experiences and looked forward to the upcoming softball season. Ryan, a quiet and respected queen on the diamond, dominates on the mound as a pitcher. Glenn, a catcher, is another lead-by-example type who leads from behind the plate as a witty yet serious player who gets the job done. Meanwhile, Salvucci, an outfielder, and clutch-hitter, uses her warm and outgoing spirit to welcome new teammates to the team. Ryan, Glenn, and Salvucci are all-round players and people who work hard athletically and academically.
Their experience on the F&M softball team has been anything but “typical.” Having three different coaches in their first three years, their junior season cut short due to COVID, and an uncertain senior season, these leaders have certainly learned to battle through adversity and rise up. In their current battle and challenge of an uncertain and different season, the seniors discussed how their practices are changing to accommodate new safety precautions in the time of COVID-19. With the addition of masks and staying in certain “pods” of only a few players while at practice, all three seniors have noted practices feel different but still contain similar elements. Salvucci noted that running around in the outfield with a mask is definitely a challenge, but is simply thankful to be back at the field with her teammates. Glenn added that the social distancing protocols are not too much of an adjustment as players are usually reasonably spaced out in a typical practice. While the seniors are thankful they can have practices in the fall, they are optimistic (but cautiously so) for the spring season. Ryan commented that while she is very hopeful for the spring, she does understand that when it comes to COVID-19, things can change by the day.
While Salvucci, Ryan, and Glenn are looking forward to making more memories on the softball field, they discussed some of their favorite moments in being a part of F&M Softball. Salvucci loved participating in the team’s big victories against tough competitors and rivals as she states, “I love when we come back and fight during games, especially this past spring in Virginia, and then celebrate on the pitcher’s mound at the end of the game.” On the other hand, Ryan reflected on getting to know each new class as they came in and loved “rising up against challenges” throughout the various seasons. Glenn reflected on long post-practice dining hall dinners where she loved bonding and really getting to know her teammates (in addition to eating Saturday afternoon chicken nuggets).
Ryan, Salvucci, and Glenn have endured and learned a lot throughout their time at F&M and on the F&M’s softball team. With different coaches, COVID-19 impacted seasons, and some injuries, they have all persevered and grown. Salvucci noted how in these past four years, she has been “tested the most during this time at F&M, both academically, athletically, and in general.” Through all the tests she gained resilience and an understanding of what is important in her life. Ryan feels as though being a part of F&M Softball has made her much more mentally tough as she has had to “constantly prove herself each year to new coaches.” Yet she has grown more confident in herself and has learned to “become someone who steps up and leads.” Glenn stated that being a part of F&M’s softball team has taught her to stand up for herself and have the confidence to “be your number one fan and self-promoter and know you have the team to back you up.” Glenn also stated that from F&M she has learned to be an inquisitive learner, eager to ask questions and look at information with a skeptical but curious lens.
The three seniors plan to take what they’ve learned from F&M and apply it to their future careers. Salvucci, a Biology major, plans on going to medical school. Both Ryan, a Chemistry major, Sociology minor, and Glenn, a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major, hope to go to grad school after college. These three have and will continue to make an impact on their teammates on and off the field. Sophomore Sami LaRosa states that “Vuch” (Salvucci) and “Sab” (Ryan) have made her feel welcome throughout her time here and she will definitely miss their fun movie nights. Sophomore Kat Gunther commented how she admires Ella’s work ethic and knows that she can rely on her to work hard and be supportive. While the future of the season is uncertain, these seniors will look to continue their strong work ethic and set examples for younger players to come.
Junior Jamie Belfer is the Sports Editor. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.