2021 is looking to be a home run

SHS softball and baseball players prepare for the upcoming season after losing the chance to play last year


Grace Elder

The SHS softball team plays tag as a fun way to condition during their practices. The Lady Cards take on Whiteland on April 1 for their season opener.


After a preseason and offseason full of surprises including increased restrictions, lost practices and roster changes, the SHS softball team will finally get a chance to take the field. With these challenges, it is unknown how the Cards will perform this year. However, they look forward to just getting the opportunity to compete.

“All of us can’t wait to spend the spring time playing softball together,” junior Haley Matlock said.

Since their last appearance on March 5, 2019, the SHS softball team has faced many challenges ranging from the 2019-2020 season cancelation to the loss of multiple seniors at the end of last season. However, they will get their first chance to show themselves in less than a month, and their expectations have not changed because of these setbacks.

“I expect us to play hard, compete and not back down to anybody,” head coach Scott Montgomery said, “and go out there and have fun.” 

Over the offseason, the Cards saw lots of familiar faces, according to Montgomery. With numbers up during their offseason and preseason, it allows for more team bonding, better workouts and gives the coaches a chance to teach more effectively.

“The attendance has been great,” Montgomery said. “We had about 90% of our kids come to workouts over the offseason.” 

The Cards have had lots of time to improve, given the fact that they have been able to train for double the time they have in the past. According to Matlock, the Cards have been training very hard to improve key skills that will allow them to win more games.

“We have really been working on endurance,” Matlock said. “When we have more endurance, we can finish games without losing our mental focus and physical fatigue.”

This season, the Cards will rely heavily on their four seniors, according to Montgomery. Seniors Johnna Bear and Kylie Sloan will be a big key in the team’s success. Two years ago, Sloan ended with a .250 batting average, and Bear was batting .266 the last time they played. Bear will also be helping out on the defensive end by leading the team in pitching.

“We have a couple seniors, Johnna Bear and Kylie Sloan, that have stepped up and taken on a little bit of that leadership role,” Montgomery said.

The unknown has been a big factor in knowing how well the Cards will be able to perform against the best, but they see their team bond as being something that will carry them through the season.

“We have a really close bond and are working on creating an atmosphere to get better,” Matlock said. “I think with this we will do very well and have fun.”



It’s been over a year since the SHS boys baseball team has taken the field, and they are excited to get back to playing yet still very unsure of what the upcoming season will look like.

“It’s difficult to say how we will do…,” head coach Phil Webster said. “The last time our kids played they were either freshman or on junior varsity.” 

The Cards’ first appearance in over a year will come on April 6 against Whiteland. This game will set the tone for the upcoming season and give the Cards a good idea on how they will perform for the next 25 games. 

Since it has been so long since the Cards have played a game, there are still questions that need answered. One such question is who will be leading the team this year. According to junior Micah Fishel, senior Landon Godsey will be a key role in the success of the team. 

“Godsey is a great utility player and is good at many positions, so he will be a big player for us,” Fishel said.

As a sophomore, Godsey played a majority of the games on the varsity schedule. Along with him and eight other seniors, inexperience should not prove to be a problem.

While the season has not yet begun for the Cards, they continue to build trust in themselves as a team and open up their game.

“The biggest strength that we have as a team is the ability to be a team,” senior Carson Moore said. “We don’t have any selfish players.”

A big part of any baseball team’s success is pitching. Webster believes that pitching will be one of the Cards’ biggest strong suits because of their depth. However, the last time the Cards played, their former starting pitcher, A.J. Short had an average era (earned runs per game) of 0.86.  The Cards are going to soon see if their pitching can live up to what it was the last time they took the field.

“I expect our pitching to be very good, especially when we have five better-than-average high school pitchers,” Webster said.

Although things are still up in the air, the Cards will soon get their first opportunity to prove themselves and see how the season will go.

“We have a different type of season this year, but it will definitely be interesting to see how this year will go,” Moore said.