Summit Softball: a Hidden Gem

The team hopes for a progressing season after facing membership difficulties in the past

Summit Softball: a Hidden Gem

As Summit High School spring sports take a start for the 2023 season, there are a lot of uncommon options. Softball is one of the most unknown of all. Although there have been fewer interested people wanting to play each and every year and few supporters, players are hoping this year will prove different. Many of the players are seniors who have stuck with it through their high school experience. One such senior is captain Mack Gerlach, who has been playing for Summit since freshman year.

“It’s disheartening to have people not wanting to play. I’ve dedicated most of my life to this sport, and to not have people want to do it sucks,” said Gerlach.

Last year’s 2022 softball season was one of the best that Summit has had in years, but they still had a lot of struggles to go through to keep playing. Cancellations and not enough players for two teams at games made playing a struggle. In order to compete, the varsity team had to take players from the JV team to be able to have a playable team most of the time. These struggles didn’t stand in the way of them winning and growing to be better by the end of the spring season, however. 

“I really hope we end up with enough players for two teams this year. It makes the season go a lot smoother if we don’t have to cancel games every time a few people are sick or busy,” said junior Layla Parker, who has been playing Summit softball all throughout high school.

Players hope that this coming season will see even more engagement than before.

“Summit softball has improved significantly over the years. When our seniors started playing we didn’t even have enough girls for one team, however when I started last year as a freshman, we had two entire teams and had a win record-breaking season,” said catcher Lena Spence, a sophomore.

With softball also being known as the girls’ version of baseball, it gets some hate by criticism that it’s weaker than baseball and girls can’t play. Though softball shares the same area and buses, baseball seems to be the only one most people remember.

“I think women’s sports, in general, should get more recognition. It is especially frustrating considering the recognition baseball gets, but softball is a pretty small sport so it is understandable,” Spence said.

Even though Summit softball hasn’t been the strongest in the past, these last couple of years there has been so much improvement with the players, coaches and overall team. The Summit community should have high hopes for this upcoming season. 

Unfortunately, not many girls at Summit High School share an interest in playing, which may lead to coaches having to actually make cuts for softball due to low tryout numbers. So far, this has never been the case in Summit’s softball history.

“I don’t think it’s very big in Bend and the girls that actually do play go to Bend High. I just don’t think it’s many people’s thing at Summit,” said pitcher Reese Caranna, a junior.

Softball is a great sport to start for students who don’t play one. It comes with amazing people and exercise, and will undoubtedly be a memorable experience. With the new season arriving in only a couple of weeks, the Summit community should show more love and appreciation to all not very well-known spring sports, especially girl sports, as they don’t get a lot of appreciation. Be sure to stop by the field and watch a game this spring.