Prep Softball

Looking back at C.R. Washington softball

HS journalism: First victory of 2018 was 'a feeling like no other'

Cedar Rapids Washington head coach Amy Bautista encourages her players before the start of the seventh inning during a game against Linn-Mar in July. Bautista will not return to coach this summer, but players are encouraged the program is improving. (Jim Slosiarek\The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Washington head coach Amy Bautista encourages her players before the start of the seventh inning during a game against Linn-Mar in July. Bautista will not return to coach this summer, but players are encouraged the program is improving. (Jim Slosiarek\The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — It’s hard to stay committed when things seem to always go wrong.

So a different level of respect goes to the people who really work their hearts out and put everything they have into that certain activity. When things go right, you can’t help but feel relieved and overjoyed for them.

The Cedar Rapids Washington softball team struggled this past summer, losing its first 15 games. But the Warriors were able to pull through with a win against Dubuque Senior on June 12 with senior Grace Stockmaster picking up the win.

“She was hitting her corners and making her pitches spin which continually kept the Rams on their heels the entire game,” said assistant coach Erin Drahozal.

While the Rams offense was almost nonexistent, the Warriors were able to score four runs thanks to some crucial errors.

“This win showed the girls that they are capable of playing with anyone in the conference,” Drahozal said.

Arguably the most important step for a team to turn the corner is to not only have a coach who believes in the team everyday, but also for the team to believe in itself. Teams have to have the right mind-set and attitude to succeed in anything.

“It is easy to get down on yourselves and develop a negative attitude, but everyone continued to stay positive through the adversity we faced,” Drahozal said.

Sophomore Sky Monty is one of the players who has been with the team for the past couple of years. She was part of the team that didn’t win a game in 2017, but like many other girls who are dedicated to the team, she came back. The hard work and dedication paid off.

“I just remember it being so fun to win with a team that finally deserved a win because of how hard some of the people have been working,” Monty said.

It was more than just a win. Emotions were flowing throughout the game. And a sense of relief was shown after the game.

“The feeling was like none other,” Monty said. “The middle infielder caught the ball and ran into the dirt while everyone hugged each other and people were crying. You could see the faces on the other team in disbelief that we just won.”

This is what the team played for every day. It never stopped fighting and will continue to work as hard as possible to get better and better each year.

The team will move on without head coach Amy Bautista, however. Activities director Grant Schultz had no comment her departure. Drahozal said she has no idea why Bautista isn’t coming back.

One player said the team went through “a rough patch with our coach, it only makes us better and stronger as a team ...

“I’d just thank her for making us have to work harder as a team because that brought us together.”

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The Warriors won one more game in 2018, topping East Buchanan at the West Delaware tournament and finished 2-37.

Washington looks to improve in 2019 and is hoping for many more memories and bright spots.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.