New Coach Breathes Life into JV Softball

Lena Kauffman, Staff Writer

Former Saint Mary’s softball player, Lauren Locke, saved the girls JV softball team from extinction this spring. Earlier this season it was announced that there would be no JV team if a coach could not be found. For the first six weeks in February and early March the coach-less team ran their practices independently.

Varsity coach Joe Long, who knew Locke because she was a club coach for a lot of the girls on his team, offered her the position in a last ditch effort to keep the developmental program in place.  Locke accepted the position, to the relief of the handful of JV players who remained.

This is Locke’s first time as a head coach, however she has been giving girls individual hitting and fielding lessons for many years. As a Saint Mary’s player she has met many girls and families in the area. “I thought it would be a great opportunity to give back to the community where I played softball for four years,” shared Locke.

With only three of eleven players on her roster having previous experience, the new coach is focusing on developing a passion for the game. “We have many girls that have never played softball before, so my goal is that the girls enjoy playing softball.  I also want the girls to improve their softball skills and learn good sportsmanship,” said Locke.

The team has only had one league game so far, which was a loss to Northgate (13-8), but the girls still have great things to say about Locke. “She is super awesome, nice and totally understanding. She makes everybody so pumped up and ready to go, it’s really exciting to be around her,” said freshman Sam Heckle. “She just started last week and is already making a huge impression on us.”