Work hard and play even harder

Work+hard+and+play+even+harder

Madison Michaud, Journalism Staff Reporter

Megan Otsuka, a freshman on the varsity softball team, didn’t always know that she wanted to play softball. After starting on a recreational team at age 9 she instantly wanted more. “I learned to love the game, and I just can’t quit, “ she said.

Driven to become better Otsuka has played for many other teams over the years. Last year she was on a 14 team outside of Woodcreek playing mostly first base. She claims her skills are best used at the catching position, though on this team the coach did not agree. Unhappy with the coach’s unwillingness to play her as catcher, she began to look for other teams who would take her in. When this was brought to the coach’s attention, he was furious.

After one of their tournaments she described how he had told her that she was wrong for trying to play the catching position and that she should stay focused on improving her skills at first base. He claimed that she would never make a college team if she would only play catcher, that her skills were not good enough to play at that position.

After hearing this, Otsuka was not only angry, but her confidence was diminished. Using that anger to her advantage she worked harder than ever to prove him wrong. Otsuka began taking lessons for her batting, catching, and fielding. Along with a conditioning coach and workouts by herself to improve her skills, like batting in her garage during her free time. This all hoping to improve her technique and skill.

After all this work she tried out for an 18 gold team, the firecrackers and made it. This team was not only two levels higher than her last team, but she was also playing catcher the position she had been dreaming of. Otsuka was not only ecstatic, but it also validated that she was good enough to play where she wanted. She had reached her goal.

Her hard work also earned her a spot on this year’s Woodcreek varsity team. Head coach Jeff Fischer says she is an all around player, that’s what makes her special, and for a freshman she has a lot of time to get even better.

The discovery she made: “Softball is a big game of mistakes. It’s a game of strategy and sacrifices. Take your mistakes, learn from them, and improve on them. That’s what I did.”