The Spartans faced pressure on June 14 for players to come to practice because it would determine the existence of their team after too many forfeits.
Katie Drasso, the comptetive softball coordinator and a junior majoring in general studies, said she gave the Spartans an ultimatum that if players did not show up to practice, the team would be dismantled or other players would join the team.
“The biggest issue was the lack of commitment,” said Ryan Payne, the assistant coach and a senior studying accounting.
Emily Miller, a freshman studying automotive engineering said that most of the girls just don’t show up.
She said it hurts the team because softball is such a team sport. Miller said the reasons girls do not come are different every time, and sometimes there is no reason.
Miller said the team only had five girls that could play last Friday.
“I can think of at least two games that we forfeited,” Payne said. “But the first game, we only had seven girls and almost came out with a win.”
He said he prayed for a miracle for the Spartans.
“I think they finally took us a little more serious, and also, Katie came in clutch with bringing a couple more girls for us,” Payne said.
Miller said the Spartans were not going to go down without a fight.
“We fought for our team,” Miller said. “We didn’t want to go onto other teams this late in the season because we have already created a bond between each other.”
Emily Sawyer, one of the new players and a freshman studying exercise physiology, said she came because Miller told her about it.
“It’s funny because when softball tryouts were first starting, I told Emily about it, and now she told me to come to practice to be on her team,” Sawyer said. “She is here because of me, and I am here because of her.”
She said she loved her first day of practice even though she has never played softball before.
“It’s nice to know that I can get better at it,” Sawyer said.
Jecelynn Flink, a freshman studying health psychology, and Sam Sturtevant, a junior studying exercise physiology, each said they were recruited from the softball class by Drasso, who is the TA in that class.
“Katie asked me to be on the Spartans, and I said, ‘Let’s do it,’” Flink said.
Sturtevant said she loves softball, so when Drasso asked, there was no hesitation.
Flink said she has played softball for 15 years and is a state and national champion.
“I want to bring motivation,” Flink said.
Sturtevant, rookie of the year in high school, said she was surprised how relaxed the girls and practice were.
She said unifying the team will make a difference.
“I am looking forward to having legit practices and also getting some team chemistry going for us,” Payne said.
He said he wants the players to understand that they made a commitment.
“I feel we have a strong team that can easily win all of our games, but the weakness is getting girls to practice and building trust and chemistry with the team,” Payne said.
Payne said that in this league, it is not OK to think that showing up is optional and when that happens, it hurts the team more than they can comprehend.
“The chemistry takes a fundamental role on your team’s performance, so it can never be despised,” according to the Chemistry Guide for FIFA 16 Ultimate Team. “It represents how well a player will perform in-game. Low chemistry values will hinder players’ ability, whilst high chemistry values will result in players performing well.”