BY ERIN DOHERTY, SPORTS EDITOR
It had the look of an extra-base hit at least, and maybe a home run. The ball jumped off of the bat of the National Cathedral School player and flew toward the outfield at Guy Mason field. But two Wilson players, sophomore Kimberly Manalang and senior Alexis Coates, were determined to track it down.
After a long run, left-fielder Manalang arrived first. Just reaching the ball was an accomplishment, but it was hit so hard that it bounced off of her glove. Then came a moment of magic. Center fielder Coates was sprinting after the ball as well; she got there just in time to catch the carom off of Manalang’s glove and record the out. It was just another day for Wilson’s winning softball team.
From the start, the players and coach Karina Bond knew the team would be good. But this good? The Tigers’ season officially began on March 17 with a game against Georgetown Day School. With a crushing 10-0 win, the game against GDS set the tone for the rest of the season. “[Beating GDS] was a really great way to start the season,” senior Nina Wiramidjaja said. “Everyone played well and worked hard.”
Confidence has been a key factor in the team’s success. In previous seasons, “we have been intimidated by other teams in the league,” said junior Eva Schulman. Beating GDS and other private schools early in the season “proved to us that we have a chance of winning the DC state title,” said Wiramidjaja.
The April 21 victory over NCS, the defending state champions, was a milestone. And the highlight play by Manalang and Coates seemed to epitomize the season. The team “continues to grow as one,” Bond described.
On Monday, April 27, the Tigers faced the Visitation Cubs. The Tigers came out playing strong and, for the majority of the game, the Tigers played the Cubs evenly. With a score of 4-4 at the end of the seventh inning, the game went into extra innings. Eventually after two innings, the Tigers fell to the Cubs for the first loss of the season. The heartbreaking loss only motivated the team.
This has been a pivotal year for the Wilson softball program, which promises to be strong for many years to come. This spring marked the inaugural season of the Wilson junior varsity softball team. The new team “has been great for building the program as well as motivating varsity to work harder,” Wiramidjaja said. With more than double the number of players on the team as last year, the team has “grown a lot both in skill and as a team.”
Bond expressed optimism about the future. “We are a growing program hungry for success,” she said in a text.
Under the leadership of five seniors, the Tigers look to the postseason with newfound confidence. With 11 games – and ten wins – already in the books, it is no surprise that the team’s goals are to win the DCIAA and DCSAA championships. “Your 2015 Wilson softball team will leave their paw print on the school and the DC area,” Bonds assured.
The Tigers will take on Sidwell Friends on Tuesday, May 5 at Guy Mason. This is one game you won’t want to miss. •
PHOTO BY SARAH TORRESEN, VISUAL CONTENT MANAGER
*This article appeared in the April 2015 issue of the paper