Softball returns to Bak for the first time since the pandemic


At tryouts, Madelyn Horner warms up by throwing a ball to her partner. “Warming up, stretching, and throwing to each other at the beginning of practice is necessary so you are ready to work and play hard for the entirety of it,” Shah said. Photo by Cole Hoffman

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the softball team returned to Bak this school year. Tryouts for the team began on Aug. 25 and ended on Aug. 30.

“Tryouts this year went great,” Matthew Sallas, coach of the Bak Stars softball team said. “We had the largest turnout we’ve ever had since I’ve been the coach, and that’s exciting to see.”

Students had varying thoughts and feelings on their performance at tryouts. Rucha Shah, seventh grade communications major said, she thought she did great, and she was confident she was going to make the team.

Elizabeth Heggen, sixth grade music major, had a different perspective about her performance.

“Although I did think that tryouts, overall, went pretty well, I would say that there are definitely a few things that I could have done better and cleaner,” Heggen said.

After tryouts, Sallas had to select the students that would make the team. The final team roster was posted Aug. 31 on the bulletin board outside the gym. Selecting the team this year was particularly challenging for Sallas.

“It was especially difficult to select who made the team and who did not this year because everyone that tried out was such a talented athlete. I really hope that the kids who didn’t make the team still try out for another sport at Bak,” Sallas said.

Every student that tried out had different backgrounds in the sport, different reasons why they tried out and varying levels of experience. Heggen said that she plays softball because it is a sport that she enjoys and understands. She tried out for the Bak team so she could increase her experience with the sport.
“I have been playing softball since I was six years old. I have stuck with it for so long because it is so enjoyable to play and you get to make strong bonds and connections with your teammates,” Shah said.

The softball season at Bak will run throughout the first nine weeks of school, and the team will practice every day that they don’t have a game. The team is excited to have softball back.

“I have been looking forward to coaching the team again ever since we had to cancel two years ago,” Sallas said. “Go Stars!”


Rucha Shah, seventh grade communications major, fields a ground ball from Coach Sallas at softball tryouts. “Fielding ground balls is just one of the basic skills that are necessary to be a successful softball player,” Sallas said. Photo by Cole Hoffman