For Carlee Robinson, a senior on the Seymour Owls softball team, playing that sport has always been special.
“I feel like with softball I can be myself, but I can also learn while doing so,” she said. “Softball was something I’ve also enjoyed from a young age and has helped me to become the person I am today. It has helped me become a better leader and has shown me that hard work, effort and dedication can pay off.”
Robinson was many of the local high school athletes victimized by the cancellation of spring sports across Indiana. Last year she played first base and expected to be holding down that slot again this season.
“My goal for this season was to try and get all-state,” Robinson said. “I got all-conference last season and this season I wanted to push myself further and to do better.”
There was every reason for Robinson to be confident based on her earlier achievements.
“My accomplishment that I am most proud of was getting all-conference last season,” Robinson said. “I also had a .500 batting average which is the best batting average I’ve had during my high school career. My first varsity start as a freshman I hit a grand slam.”
Robinson plans to study elementary education at IUPUC in the fall.
Zoe Fountain was hoping to leave a bigger mark at Brownstown Central this spring as a shifty runner.
“My goals were to break the career stolen bases record, improve my batting average and decrease errors,” she listed as goals for this season. “As a team, some of our goals would have been on a game-to-game basis, such as preparing for our opponent in practice and making specific goals for that game. One of our big goals was to win sectionals.”
Fountain was the Braves’ regular shortstop last spring, but she also saw some playing time at second base and a little time in the outfield.
“My sophomore year I hit my first home run and it was a grand slam against Orleans,” she said. “I love every aspect of softball. There are so many different parts to it that make it special. I love being with my teammates and cheering in the dugout, the feeling of pre-game nerves, when everyone from the top to the bottom of the line-up is hitting, and the adrenaline rush in a close game.”
Sometimes it is the little things, as well as the competition, that are remembered.
“I miss everything about not being able to compete this year, not just the game, but also the connection I would have made and learning more about my teammates,” Fountain said.
Trinity Lutheran’s Jaryn Holtsclaw would have been in her fourth season playing third base for the Cougars.
“My goals were to have a high batting average, win sectionals and possibly even more, and make the all-county team.”
She has many good memories from Trinity. “Some of my memories include run-ruling Brownstown my freshman year. That was an overall great game the team winning sectionals my sophomore year, and hitting a grand slam in the New Albany Invite.”
Holtsclaw is one of those players who appreciate everything about her sport.
“I love the entire game of softball,” she said. “I love the adrenaline from being up to bat and the adrenaline of fielding a ground ball. I also love playing alongside my teammates.
“I miss not being able to spend time on the field. I often look back on last season and my final few games, thinking that was my last high school at-bat, or the last time I made an out.”
Holtsclaw will attend Kentucky Christian University where she will play softball and major in biology.
“My coaches have decided to dedicate the Trinity Lady Cougars Softball Facebook page to me during which should have been my senior season,” Holtsclaw said. “I am thankful for all the support from my coaches and teammates as we are all going through the grief of not being able to play this spring.”
Kate Snook, the Owls’ third-base anchor, recalled the excitement of homering in the sectional her freshman season against Jennings County.
“The main goal was sectionals as always,” she said of the team’s aspiration this spring, “but for me personally I just wanted to work on my offensive game to have a good season hitting.”
Snook, who is planning to attend Butler, misses not being with her teammates this spring.
“I love being on the field with my team and mental and physical challenges the game brings,” Snook said. “I will miss the time spent with my teammates, celebrating our victories together.”
Addy Krieger had some lofty goals for Brownstown.
“I saw us being able to come home with a sectional title,” Krieger said, “and maybe even a regional title. The talent and the players that we had for this season had the potential for so much. There is no doubt in my mind that we could bring home some wins this season.”
Krieger, a third-base regular, recalled a game she had at Bedford North Lawrence her freshman year.
“In this game I hit my first home run of my career,” Krieger said. “Along with that I was short of a triple to hit a complete cycle. I had never felt so proud of myself in a game.”
Krieger plans to study nursing, not softball, at Anderson University.
“Comfort is what I am going to miss most about playing softball,” she said. “No matter what is going on in my life or if I was having a bad day, I could step on the field and everything would go away for a little while. Softball was where I felt the most like myself, which made it even better that I was surrounded by many of my close friends. Softball may be over, but the friendships and memories will last forever.”
Grace Rennekamp, centerfielder for Seymour was also feeling the loss of the sport this spring, a game she has played for most of her life.
“I have been playing softball since I was five and haven’t lost my love for it,” said Rennekamp, who is scheduled to attend Purdue and study biomedical engineering.
Last year’s sectional was special for Rennekamp.
“A few highlights included hitting a home run, multiple RBIs and runs, and crucial defensive plays,” she said of the tournament, “but most importantly creating memories that will last a lifetime.”
Chloe Carlin started in centerfield for Brownstown since her freshman year.
“The goals for the team were going to be winning the Mid-Southern Conference and sectionals,” Carlin said. “But also, (have) positive attitudes. We wanted to try and keep the errors per game minimal.”
Hitting some big home runs for the Braves gave Carlin considerable pleasure.
“Hitting a walk-off home run at our first home game of the (2017) season,” she said. “I also hit a home run at Seymour (in 2019). We beat them and it was their first loss of the season.”
Much like the other seniors, Carlin said not being able to compete with fellow Cougars bothers her.
“I miss my teammates and not being able to play,” she said. “I think this year would have been a great season for the team. The bus rides are also something I miss each game. I always looked forward to them.”
Brownstown: Zoe Fountain, Chloe Carlin, Addy Krieger.
Seymour: Grace Rennekamp, Carlee Robinson, Kate Snook. Jozie Nicholson, Alyna Alvarado, Riley Knutson, Abby Schmidt, Kati Curry
Trinity: Jaryn Holtsclaw