The Westside softball team has competed in two tournaments, the Metro Conference Tournament and the Warrior Invite, over the past two weeks.
After a tough start in the Warrior Invite, falling 11-1 to Elkhorn South, the team made a big turn around winning the next two games against Central and Bellevue West. The Warriors fell short in the quarterfinals against Grand Island losing the lead in the final inning.
Head coach TJ Eadus believes the team should have been 3-1 in the invite.
“We were beyond flat for Elkhorn South and Grand Island-that was embarrassing,” Eadus said. “To have competed so well against Papio South and then Papio in whatever happened in that game. I think it was the wake up call for the girls. It’s not going to be given, they have to take it.”
The Warriors really kicked into gear the second half of the warrior invite and showed their potential on the diamond.
“The biggest change from metros to the Warrior invite was our defense. We’re making the plays whether they are routine or tough outs. I think defensively we’re starting to really come together,” Eadus said.
Eadus and the Warriors have shifted their focus on pitching and hitting to help them to reach their top potential this year.
“We need our defense to keep showing up, our pitching to keep getting better and keeping us in games, and we need an all hands on deck approach,” Eadus said. “Our girls are fighters and a fun group so we need to keep our heads down and continue pushing forward.”
Junior shortstop Addie Leinen had multiple takeaways from the past two tournaments.
“The past two weeks we’ve realized the potential we have,” Leinen said. “We’ve held close games between top ranked teams and we just need to play with that energy and passion every game.”
After a weekend at metros, the Warriors gained momentum and picked up a couple of wins towards the home stretch of their season.
“Winning those games helped the girls mentally,” Leinen said. “Not a lot of people are able to play this many games back to back with the results we have gotten and still be able to go out and play with a positive mindset. We’re just hoping to keep the wins up for the rest of the season.”
The Warriors young core is starting to show the team’s potential as seen in sophomores Kaidance Dumas and JaLee Conyers who exhibit the intensity and sense of urgency this team is looking for.
“They are always full of passion and keep up with other girls while still doing their job in the field and at bat. We love having their energy and talent out there,” Leinen said.
Senior catcher Alexis Cornett is ecstatic about the sophomores and their accomplishments for the team this season.
“Being able to have the young people of the team have our back is very important,” Cornett said. “When I’m hitting I know the game isn’t on my back because I have Kaidence behind me. I have all those girls behind me to pick me up if I get out or I have them to move me on the bases. It’s very amazing to see that trust in them at such a young age. I think all the young girls are going to keep bringing this program up and up. They have stepped up in their roles and have proven to be a great asset on varsity.”