Playing at catcher, as well as first and third base, Chloe Hart, junior, is a versatile player who throws and bats with her right hand. After swinging from junior varsity (JV) to varsity last year, Hart is a full member of the varsity team for her junior season.
“The most difficult [team] to play will be Oregon City,” Hart said. “That’s the one we’re preparing for. [Their] pitching is solid, [their] defense is solid, and that’s the team we lost to last year in the playoffs.”
While not fully on the varsity team, Hart still experienced some of the tumultuous previous season, which saw a new coach take control of the team midseason.
“[The drama] was kind of involved with the whole team and then I swung up [to varsity] as well,” Hart said. “I think [what happened last year] is going to make this season way better.”
She also, like the majority of the players on her team, both hits and plays in the outfield.
“Honestly [my preference] fluctuates day to day,” Hart said. “It depends. Sometimes it’s hitting if I’m destroying my hitting, I just love it, but then sometimes my hitting sucks but my fielding is really good.”
Due to the downtime between innings and at bats, softball offers a lot of time to think while waiting for action to resume.
“There’s so much downtime to get in your own head that it’s just hard to stay out of it,” Hart said. “I try to forget it and then when I can’t I try to become better based off the past mistake that I just made. So, I tell myself, ‘I’m not going to make that mistake again,’ and then focus on doing the things that I know what to do.”
As a full varsity player, Hart’s season will be different from the past two years she spent on JV. She will be competing against some of the best teams in the state while playing in the Three Rivers League (TRL), which includes Oregon City.
“I think it’s going to be a lot more competitive,” Hart said. “There’ll be more player development and getting used to the competitive nature rather than just teeing off every pitcher or 30 running them.”