Sunday, May 18, 2014

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From: "The Eagle" <>
Date: May 18, 2014 4:46 AM
Subject: The Eagle
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The Eagle

Softball team perseveres in season of few games and lots of rain

Posted: 17 May 2014 07:12 AM PDT

The girls softball team is a group of hard-working, dedicated and risk-taking young women. Thanks to the addition of a few new players, the team has had a better season than in previous years, but with a record of just 2-1 in a time when most suburban schools are entering the playoffs. The weather has been full of rain and cold, and games have been canceled, and of course, being one of only three remaining "city league" teams, there just weren't many games to begin with. But the new players, combined with better hitting and better, winning vibe have all helped make the season a success.

Kayla Hitchcock is Obama's superstar shortstop. A travel ball player who competes at the 18U Gold level for the Pittsburgh Power, she says the team has been much better this year but not as good as she knows it can be. She knows that City League softball is simply not as serious as WPIAL softball (which, for that matter, is nowhere near Gold level travel ball), but she enjoys playing for fun and certainly wants that letterman's jacket next year. She understands the challenges of playing for a school like Obama. "It takes  an incredible amount of effort," she says.

In comparison with 18U Gold ball, Kayla knows the limitations. "The sport is more rigorous. You meet so many people. You have a number of exceptional coaches and you are constantly practicing." She understands that at Obama, like at so many city schools, girls don't have the background in fast pitch from a young age. Still, she has enjoyed her time with the Lady Eagles and wants to continue playing at the college level. She has already had scholarship offers but is not looking to commit anytime soon. Her goal is to be a coach after her playing days are done.

Hitchcock knows that the Obama program has grown over the past couple of years. "The new players have brought a lot more energy this year," she says.  At the same time, "we have some experienced players who have tried to spread their knowledge  and skills."

Coach Wagner acknowledges that this has been "one of our best teams so far." She says this "despite some of our players quitting towards the end."

Playing softball is a challenge at Obama. Bad weather and few games make it a practice-oriented sport and it takes that dedicated individual to succeed.

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