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Coach: Memorial softball about putting in work, creating daily progress

For Memorial softball, progress is more important than the scoreboard.

Assistant varsity coach Ilynn Bersoza-Hickey said what is learned is more valuable than the amount of times the team crosses home plate.

“For me, it is not about the scoreboard,” she said. “At this point, our team is not state bound or anything. For us, it is always going to be daily progress and team progress as a whole. We want to see who puts in the work and build those milestones up.”

Memorial fell 25-0 in its first game of the season to Galena Park Feb. 23.

The Titans played in a tournament in Kountze over the weekend, which yielded better results, Bersoza-Hickey said.

“We won one, tied in the other and lost four,” she said. “So far, our team chemistry is coming together really well. Our varsity has worked really hard. We have about 10 seniors on our varsity team. We have had these girls for three years. They have never played select ball or any type of league ball. Hopefully, this is there time to shine and win some games this season.”

Unlike the fall sports, teams have reaped the benefits of tournament play.

“It helps to just get the practice in,” Bersoza-Hickey said. “We are able to get the games in, work on the chemistry and get these athletes the confidence they need to work in their positions. For the new girls, it helps us determine what their best positions are. When it comes to the tournaments, we can try them and they can see that if they work at it, they can get the confidence up and going.”

Bersoza-Hickey said senior pitchers Peyton Watkins, Markel Chretien and Demeria Anderson are a few of the team leaders.

“Anderson can work any of the bases and plays anywhere we need her,” the coach said.

Although the team is packed with a lot of familiar faces, Bersoza-Hickey is anxious to see what some new faces bring to the team.

“We have a couple of freshman and some underclassmen,” she said. “It is still kind of in the works because of grades and COVID.”

Memorial is using virtual learning, making it more difficult for student-athletes to be on campus.

With the pandemic already negatively impacting students’ school experiences, Bersoza-Hickey said one of the team’s goals is to make memories.

“Those athletes aren’t going to remember what was on the scoreboard,” she said. “They are most likely going to remember the team interaction and how they work with the coaches and how they had their best friends with them on the field. To us, it is about building that family, confidence building, teamwork, discipline and hard work. That is something that we try to instill in them everyday. When they finish here, that is what we want them to remember.”