MHS Varsity Softball Continues District Championship Winning Streak
Varsity Softball went into District Championships with a five consecutive season District Championship winning streak, motivating them to defeat Eureka and become the Class 5 District 2 Champions.
The game took place Friday, Oct. 17, at Lakeview Park. MHS defeated Eureka 9-2 for their sixth consecutive district win.
The team will advance to the State Quarterfinals at home against Cape Notre Dame on Thursday, Oct. 22.
Varsity softball player Alyssa Dienstbach, senior, experienced the past three District Championship wins with the Varsity softball team.
“The consistency of our program goes to show just how hard we work every single year to be the best we can be,” Dienstbach said. “Although I have won three district titles in the past three years, the feeling of winning one is still like no other feeling,”
The team prepared for the championship by practicing five to six times a week out on their softball field. She mentions the trust they have in their training and how it paid off in the District Championship.
Dienstbach has personal strategies that she uses throughout the regular and postseason that help her perform to her best ability.
“I take some time to myself to breathe before the game,” Dienstbach said. “I think positive thoughts, I say a prayer, and I go out and do what I’ve been doing since I was 4 years old.”
Dienstbach acknowledges the team and individual effort of her coaches and teammates that played a part in their District Win.
“I put a sacrifice bunt down, put the ball in play resulting in a couple runs, and I controlled my emotions very well,” Dienstbach said. “I stayed calm, breathed and performed.”
Varsity softball player Sophia Dunn, junior, also played a successful part in the District Championship in her position as a leadoff batter in the lineup. This is her second championship win with the varsity team.
Dunn hit a double that brought in two runs, and she got on base three times with a walk, a double, and a single.
She said her team dominated in offense, helping them reach their victory in the game. She mentions how they struggled at the beginning of the season against Eureka’s starting pitcher, but overcame their struggle by improving in connecting the pitches.
“When we play for our teammates instead of ourselves, we often play a lot better. It really helps at the plate to get ahead in the count and focus on finding any way on base to help my team, such as putting down a bunt, taking a walk, or just hitting a single, “ Dunn said.
Dunn said the team preparation for Districts consisted of inter-team scrimmages to focus on skills that needed improvement.
“In our scrimmages we were able to see a lot of live pitching, which I think really helped our at bats in games later in the season, “ Dunn said.
This is the third year the Varsity softball team has won over Eureka in District Championships.
“It feels really fulfilling to carry on the work that the past MHS softball teams have accomplished in the past district championships, “ Dunn said.
Varsity softball coach Adam Starling said the team takes a different path to success in Districts each season.
“The common thread for every successful team is having talented players that are willing to push themselves and their teammates to keep the season alive another day,” Starling said.
He said the team’s success strategy is to focus on one opponent at a time because competing in three games in three days can be overwhelming for the players.
Starling said competing against challenging teams during the regular season best prepares them for the postseason.
“It was important for our team to see as many high level pitchers and different styles of offense as possible,” Starling said.
He said he admires how each player plays a leadership role on the team therefore creating the strong team mentality important for winning.
“It seems everyday we have a different player starting a rally or knocking in runs in a big moment,” Starling said. “It has been impressive to see the girls have the mindset to keep the line moving.”
The team participated in weekly Zoom meetings during Spring ALP to build team bonds that could not be done in person because of COVID-19.
“The girls gained trust for one another and helped fasttrack a positive team culture that was even more important in the success our team has had this year than in most years,” Starling said.
Annie McGinnis, junior, is the Co-Sports Editor for the Messenger. She plays Varsity field hockey and is a member of the National Honor Society. Outside...