By Brodrick Kudron Even though the Varsity Girls Softball Team didn’t make it to State this year, the season had many other high points. Senior pitcher Emma Rathe threw her 200th strike out in a single season earlier this month in a game against Omaha Bryan. She added about 20 more after that before the
By Brodrick Kudron
Even though the Varsity Girls Softball Team didn’t make it to State this year, the season had many other high points. Senior pitcher Emma Rathe threw her 200th strike out in a single season earlier this month in a game against Omaha Bryan. She added about 20 more after that before the end of the season.
Not only did she pass the 200 mark, she did it during a perfect game. “That was an extremely great experience,” Rathe said.
The team ended the regular season with 11 wins, four more than last year and more than LHS has seen in over 10 years. “This year we got into double digits, which was cool,” Rathe said.
They came close to winning their first game at Districts against Southeast, but they couldn’t make it happen.
“We actually did really good against Southeast,” Rathe said. “We lost, but it was 6-4, we were beating them for 2 innings, so that was nice.”
Their second game of the double header was against Norfolk, but it was tough for the team to come back after the loss to Southeast. “We could have won, but the morale was gone,” Rathe said. “It was also incredibly windy, so that was a factor,” she added. Southeast ended up winning Districts.
Team captains Rathe and senior Paige Skillet have played varsity since their freshman year. “Coming in as a freshman was kind of overwhelming – pitchers have that authority, but as a freshman where you don’t know anybody was kind of scary,” Rathe said.
“But over the years I became really comfortable and with club softball I learned how to teach and work really hard, and the whole team worked really hard. I think that’s why we accomplished so much,” she added.
Last year they lost two seniors but added two new freshmen: Lauren Thuss and Taya Arkfeld. “They were nervous, but they were fantastic,” Rathe said. “They did so well stepping into the roles that they had to fill.”
This year will see the exit of five seniors. Who will step in to fill Rathe’s shoes? “Casey Wilken pitched for JV, and December Dorffler also pitched,” Rathe said. “I don’t know exactly who will fill in, but they’re really prepared. I’m not worried.”
Rathe’s skills drew the attention of other coaches and schools. Some people questioned why she didn’t transfer to a school with a stronger team.
“I don’t regret it all, because I think I learned so much and got so much more out of being at Lincoln High, because you learn more than just the qualities of softball. I learned leadership skills, that will take me farther. I loved it here, and it was the greatest way to spend my time,” Rathe said.
Rathe plans to continue playing softball either at Nebraska Wesleyan or Baruch College in New York City. “I’m leaning toward New York,” she said.
Overall Rathe sees this year as a success and is happy with the team. “Everyone meshed well. There wasn’t a lot of drama . That helped a lot. We just were a well-connected team and we had people where they needed to be at the right time.”
Coach Jeff Pierce echoed the need for more players for next season. “A lot of good underclassmen will return, however, there will be some holes to fill. The work in the off-season and how the team comes back with focus will keep it on track,” Pierce said