Off-base: loss of field and coaches leads to frustrating softball exodus


Ryan Guan

Coach Mikelle Sacco works with team members on proper throwing mechanics during a practice at the Greene Field. So far, the team has practiced there as well as on Evans Field. From left to right: Kira Ratan ’22, Briana Diaz ’22, Sibora Sadrijaj ’24

Gisele Cestaro, News Editor

The girls varsity softball team is without a field this season due to the construction of the new Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (IEC). With spring sports having commenced March 1, the coaches and the team do not have a set location to practice, which will potentially affect future games and consistent training time. Since the IEC construction is going to take several years, this raises the question of what future lies ahead for the softball team.

In past years, the team had two coaches from Mercy College and would practice every day as well as have their home games on Evans Field. This year those two coaches are gone, and no permanent replacement has yet been designated. Mikelle Sacco, upper school athletic assistant director, who has lots of softball experience, is currently the temporary coach. 

With the new circumstances, the team has been displaced onto the side of the turf on Greene Field as they were left without a field. Without the leadership of a permanent coach and a place to practice skills, more than half of the students have left the team. 

Kira Ratan* is a senior who has been on the softball team for four years and is a captain for the second year in a row. She talked about how not having proper practice can affect the team’s skill development, especially to those who are new. The future of the team is at stake since most of the experienced players will be graduating, meaning that there will be many younger players who have never had much time tossing the ball.

“At first there was no field, and then no coach, which was just one thing after another. When there’s a team with a lot of players who are eager to learn, but you don’t have the right resources, it’s hard,” Ratan said. 

Everything is in the air with the softball team as of now. They were originally going to practice on Mercy College’s field, but it’s in use for the sports season. Lexi Wachen*, who has also been a captain of the team, believes that this situation could have been handled differently. 

“It could have been helpful if they came up with a plan beforehand and talked to us about it. It felt like they didn’t start thinking about how this would affect the softball team until our season started. I don’t think they still even really have a plan,” Wachen said. 

As of now there are only ten people on the team, and the minimum to play is nine, which leaves little room for people to be sick or injured without adequate players. However, the more pressing issue is that games might not even take place this season. Since the team has been placed on the back burner, the decisions are still being made but it leaves those who want to play games in a hard position. 

“Games are what motivate you to go to practice every day and work hard so you can get to that level and compete for your school, so the idea of not having one is definitely harder,” Wachen said. 

At first there was no field, and then no coach, which was just one thing after another. When there’s a team with a lot of players who are eager to learn, but you don’t have the right resources, it’s hard.

— Kira Ratan

Since games have been a large tradition at Masters to celebrate players’ last seasons of doing their respective highschool sports, it potentially makes not having games for the final season of the year a let down. 

Ratan said, “The prospect of not having a senior game for the final season of athletics is pretty sad because it’s nice to be a part of that.”

Note: Both Kira Ratan and Lexi Wachen are on Tower staff