Miami High News

The Beauty in Softball

By Shirley Lopez, Staff Writer

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To some people, sports are just games. To others, they’re a life-changing experience. Miami High’s girls softball team is one of the sports that has helped the players better themselves.

Softball assistant coach Mr. Rivera, who has been coaching for 4 years because of the love of the game, states, “People should join softball because it is a team sport that teaches you about cooperation, team building skills, and life lessons such as failure and successes.”

Softball players enjoy different things about their sport. Co-Captain Onalis Garcia says, “Softball teaches you how to be patient with other people and to work together as a team, driving you to do better.”

Softball captain Victoria Million states, “I’ve learned how to be a leader. At first, I was super shy, but now I don’t let people walk over me. I’m a lot more independent, but no matter how good I am, I’m nothing without my team. Playing softball is a great way to make friends and stay fit. You also form a really good bond with teammates; it’s like a family.”

“The environment and the sounds of the game itself and what I mean by that is there is no more beautiful sound than a ball hitting the bat, the glove popping when it catches the ball, and the sounds of your teammates cheering for you when you’re batting.” Coach Rivera

Softball coach Mr. Waldo Rodriguez said softball is a great way to be more involved in school and participate. “It’s a way to keep students out of trouble and keep them from being lazy,” he said. Coach  Waldo, who has been coaching for 23 years on and off, both at Miami High and at St. Thomas University, enjoys coaching because it’s connected to teaching.

“The thrill and competition in games is the best part about coaching,” he said. “Practices can sometimes get frustrating though, and I think that’s the worst part about being a coach”

Onalis Garcia and Victoria Million playing softball.

The Miami High team has practices Monday through Thursday, and if there are games during the week, they have practice on Fridays. Sometimes during breaks they have Saturday practice.  They also do community service. According to Mr. Rivera, one of the most recent events they did was helping marathon runners by giving out water bottles.

“I’ve learned how to be a leader. At first, I was super shy but now I don’t let people walk over me. I’m a lot more independent but no matter how good I am, I’m nothing without my team.” Victoria Million

Mr. Rivera, who has been playing baseball since he was 5, also played in high school and a bit in college. He says the best part about baseball or softball is “The environment and the sounds of the game itself. What I mean by that is there is no more beautiful sound than a ball hitting the bat, the glove popping when it catches the ball, and the sounds of your teammates cheering for you when you’re batting.”

What he likes the best about coaching is watching players progress throughout the season. “The girls who at first struggled then become a nightmare to get out of a game,” he said. “The worst part is the stress that comes with coaching, sometimes players don’t listen to you, and we lose close games.”

According to the article “Softball Rules” posted on the website Rules of Sport <http://www.rulesofsport.com/sports/softball.html>, softball is a variation of the sport baseball played with a larger ball. The sport requires 9 players on each team. The purpose of the game is to hit the ball that the pitcher throws with a bat before the player tries to run around an infield with four bases. If or when the player reaches the last base without being given out, they get a point.

A game lasts for 7 innings and is split into 2 sections: the top and bottom of the innings. Each team bats once in each inning before the sides switch. The fielding team has a pitcher, catcher, a player on the first base, second base, third base, three deep fielders and short stop.  The team with the most runs when the game is finished is the winner.

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