ODA Softball Swinging Back Onto the Field


Kim Swartz

Lexi warms up.

As the Out-of-Door Academy reached into the surrounding wilderness to build playing fields, softball emerged as one of the expanded team sports available for students. The softball fields were built along with the Thunder Stadium and softball became one of the more popular girls team sport in the school.

Unfortunately, last year’s season was cancelled because of a lack of players. This year, however, the sport was salvaged through the hard work of student athletes: Kiarra Womack, Bella Lee Schwartz and many other dedicated players.

With the re-emergence of the sport, the team needed a coach. First year faculty member Gaby Bucci was happy to volunteer. Mrs. Bucci, a first year coach, enjoyed coaching and hopes to coach in the future.

“The girls were great and listened well so coaching them was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed coaching the team. I think we have a very bright future. It will take us a few years before we can truly be a competitive team, but we have a lot of middle school players who have high potential.” Comments Mrs. Bucci.

Coach Bucci looks forward to the future and hopes that the young team will mature into a formidable team.

“Many will be with us for six more seasons, so I think we will continue to improve every year. As a team they learned so much and played very well considering it was our first year. Many of them had never even played before, but had a lot of natural talent […] We did not have any seniors on the team, so next year will definitely be stronger since all our girls will still be there and will learn more and improve next year.” Says Mrs. Bucci.

Sophomore catcher Kiarra Womack is a veteran of the sport, she has been playing for around ten years. Kiarra is a key leader on the team, she is one of the reasons the sport has reemerged at ODA, she feels great pride in the creation of the team and her experience this season.

“My personal experience this season was fulfillment from the support that my team gave each other as we faced challenges together, and pride from watching my very newly created team come together with girls who have never picked up a softball before, and turn into a well working accomplished team with a good chance of playing a great season that we will carryout in our years to come,” comments Womack.

Along with Womack, third year softball pitcher, sophomore, Lexi DeBartolo is an important player on the team who is considering the bright future of the team.

“We have a lot of young girls on the team, so I think eventually we’ll be really good if all the girls come back next year and the year after.  Hopefully the sport will become more popular! I think once we start to win more games and become competitive more people may show interest” says Lexi.

First year player and fellow sophomore Denisse Descamps plays third base for the Thunder, her thoughts about the team are shared with the more experienced players.

“I’ve been playing for three months, so I started playing with the season. Seeing as this was our first year I didn’t really expect much out of the team and its future, but after we played together the future kept looking better and better, so I do think that 1) it’s going to become more popular as the program continues, and 2) that the program’s future will have a lot of wins. My personal experience was rather good. We started as a team and ended up as a family, as cliche as that sounds, and it was truly so much fun,” says Descamps.

The Thunder did not finish as they hoped to but the team played very well under the circumstances of a young inexperienced team. The future looks bright for the softball team!