The Whitman-Hanson Regional High softball team is off to a strong start this season.
While some are labeling last spring as a “lost season,” it was anything but for the Whitman-Hanson Regional High softball team.
“The girls took the year off as a learning curve for them,” said second-year head coach Jordan McDermott. “They sat down, really studied the game, learned the game.”
“They were able to sit back and watch games on YouTube,” McDermott said. “There were some links I sent the captains and said, ‘Girls, for next year, you really should sit down and watch these.’ There were also a bunch of conferences that were free online. They took the time and dissected their swing. They worked all offseason.”
And the results have shown that.
Entering Wednesday, the Panthers are off to a 5-3 start. Their most impressive win was a 10-6 comeback victory over eight-time defending Patriot League Keenan Division champion Silver Lake.
W-H has also taken down league foes Duxbury (5-4 and then 16-0) and Marshfield (8-7 in eight innings) and shut out non-league rival East Bridgewater, 12-0. The Panthers have plated 64 runs in their first eight games.
Here’s the scary part for the rest of the league: McDermott believes the Panthers’ offense can reach an even higher level.
“We’ll never settle,” she said. “The girls are very hungry this year so I think we’re just going to keep it going. Our goals are to get ’em on, get ’em over and get ’em home.”
Sophomore Allison Larkin leads the Panthers with four home runs, while classmates Olivia Turocy and Lauryn Meade have hit one. Senior captains Emily McDonald and Abby Cleary have also gone deep.
On the hill, Meade has been just as impressive. She fired a no-hitter against East Bridgewater in her first career varsity start. Meade has 37 strikeouts in 35 innings this spring.
“Lauryn is just a tough kid,” McDermott said. “She’s different. On the mound, she has tunnel vision. She knows the game, she knows her spots and she hits them.”
McDermott said Meade’s emergence has also taken some of the pressure of Cleary, who tossed 173 innings over her freshman and sophomore years. Cleary picked up the win against Duxbury in the opener, hurling a complete game, and then shut the Dragons out the second time around.
“It’s a huge release for Abby,” McDermott said. “She was so needed. Now she can enjoy her senior season.”
W-H is back in action on Monday, May 24 at 4 p.m. against Silver Lake.
“I always tell the girls that I don’t have any pressure on them,” McDermott said. “At the end of the day, it’s a game. It is what it is. If we win, we win. If we lose, we lose. We focus on the negatives, we bring them into practice and we fix our mistakes. We learn from it and we plug away for the next game.”