After not fielding a softball team since 2012, softball returned to SCDS in the spring of 2017. However, the hopes for a second season have faded. First, the girls forfeited two of their seven games because there weren’t enough players; then the team, 0-5, was disbanded altogether.
The team initially had 17 girls sign up according to coach Scott Galati (father of Maddie,’ 12, and Aidan, ’16), but that enthusiasm didn’t last.
“When it came down to it, only 11 stayed with it and less than eight (put softball) as their number-one extracurricular, (so) we simply needed more players,” Galati said.
Athletic director Matt Vargo said poor communication was an issue that led to the team’s demise.
“We had to forfeit a game last minute as the girls didn’t tell ( Galati) until last minute,” Vargo said.
Attendance communication was also an issue at practice.
According to Galati, he sent out an email on a Sunday asking who couldn’t show up to practice the next day. Of 11 girls, only two emailed saying they couldn’t, but only two showed up to practice.
Vargo said a team meeting was held to talk to the girls about improving communication.
“If you can’t make a game, you can’t let the coach know the day of the game,” Vargo said at the meeting.
The following week only a handful of girls came to practice, and a second game had to be forfeited due to not enough players.
After the second forfeit, another meeting was held, where a consensus was reached by Vargo, Galati and the players that they should cancel the team and try again next year.
“It’s not fair to the other schools that are booking fields and hiring umpires,” Vargo said.
“It’s not fair to the girls that are committed and showing up all the time. It’s not fair to the coaches volunteering their time.”
Galati said it’s hard to find enough players because most girls at SCDS are new to the game.
“It is intimidating to many of them, (so) it is hard for them to put softball as their number-one extracurricular,” Galati said.
The girls that did prioritize softball, such as sophomore Alyssa Valverde, are disappointed.
“I’m bummed (that) it got canceled. I love playing softball and playing catcher,” Valverde said.
Galati hopes that more will turn out next year.
“I told the ladies I will coach them whenever they are ready,” Galati said. “It is a privilege and honor to coach such great kids.”
Originally published in the May 8 edition of the Octagon.
—By Kristine Schmitz