Kendall Atwood, freshman, is the bullpen’s newcomer. As a first-year member, Atwood faces the unique challenge of integrating herself into an established group of athletes, something that she feels ready to approach.
“When [I’m] invited to stuff I like to take the opportunity to go because I think that I’ll become closer to a lot of the girls,” Atwood said. “I’m starting to get to know them more and they’re all very nice and welcoming. It’s not that hard to feel like you’re fitting in.”
Atwood looks up to older members of the team for advice in the game, which helps her to develop tighter bonds with her teammates.
“Gracie [Gabel] always talks to me [like] all of them do,” Atwood said. “I think also, definitely like Jenna [Wheeler] and Rylee [Gustad]. They both have come up to talk to me and asked me questions, making sure that I felt welcome.”
While Atwood is new to playing with some of the experienced members, she knew all of the other freshmen prior to the season, something that she sees as an advantage.
“We all used to play [together],” Atwood said. “It’s nice having people that I know [on the team] and I like having people that I can trust. If I’m pitching I can feel them behind me. I hope that they feel the same way.”
While Atwood is just beginning the first season of her high school career, she has hopes of pursuing softball in college. To get there, Atwood knows that she and the rest of the team will have to overcome a number of obstacles to advance far into the season.
“I think [a] challenging part is that two of the three pitchers are freshmen so we have to kind of adjust to the high school [team]” Atwood said. “ [The] pitching and the hitters we’re going to face are different than club. [We] want to win state and I think having [coach] Gina [Garvey-Metzler] is going to help us win.”