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The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

A Spotlight on the Varsity Softball Team

Monday, June 3rd, 2024, marked the bittersweet end of the HSMSE girls softball season. The softball team demonstrated talent, dedication, and desire to win, and as Ms. Downey put it, it was one of the strongest teams she has ever coached. While their season is finished, making it to the third round of playoffs was a huge accomplishment.

Taken after the quarterfinal playoff game. They lost 7–4 to Baccalaureate.

As I sit here typing this, I am reflecting on all of the wonderful memories and learning experiences I’ve gained from this season as a member of the softball team. This team is unlike any other I have been a part of. I can say confidently that it has only made me love softball more. I have found that my teammates are my friends and my family and I am so beyond grateful for their impact on me. They somehow find ways to make me laugh at 7am and I know they’ve always got my back on the field.

Each of my teammates are a reflection of the culture behind the Dragons: supportive, encouraging and enthusiastic. 

When I asked the softball team about their favorite memories, many of them took the opportunity to shout out their teammates and their hard work. Maya Grauer (‘26) reminisced that “When Emily was up to bat […] I just knew she was gonna bomb the ball to the outfield and she did. It was a game-ending home run. Go, Emily!” When the Dragons make contact, the crowds go wild and I can guarantee that a homerun makes everyone excited. In the second round of playoffs, Liana Weissman (‘25) hit a game-winning grand slam against Richmond Hill. The excitement was unmatched! While these big hits are game-changing, the bunts are just as impressive. Ms. Downey often challenges her players by giving them the bunt sign during games, and it’s safe to say they are prepared. Jane Ruben (‘26), Fatima Ndiongue (‘24), and Kehaploy Kamonpanyakul (‘24) have dropped bunts when we’ve needed them most. 

Beyond the game winning plays and impressive offense, the Dragons reminisced on funny times. During an early morning practice, the Dragons were practicing various plays and Isabella Martinez (‘26) slipped on the gym floor. As she fell, she accidentally threw the ball towards Ms. Downey’s head. Unfortunately there is no way for me to do this moment justice, but if you ask Rebecca Rha (‘25) about it she’ll start cracking up. Isabella is an incredible catcher but she will never live that moment down.

Taken after the senior ceremony on 5/14/2024.

Off the field, our team is tied together by team bonding experiences like watching the solar eclipse together, setting up for our senior game and the alumni game, and having a picnic at Riverside Park. These experiences are most notable for the players’ funny moments, gossip sessions, and truth circles, and they would not be possible without Ms. Downey. Ms. Downey has been a rock for our team and, as Jane Ruben (‘26) said, “She always pushes us to be our best and knows how to inspire us to improve and work hard for what we want, whether it’s in softball or not.” Ms. Downey constantly treats her players with love and care. Greer Silberbush (‘26) added that “All of the small things she does, along with her amazing coaching, help the chemistry of our team so much and it truly shows how much she cares.” Many people would argue that coaches are responsible for the attitude of a team. Ms. Downey treats her players with respect and creates an environment in which the Dragons can thrive. Every member of the team wants to show up and make the most of practice, and our games are boosted by the presence of Ms. Downey. 

My love for this team has grown within the past season, and my love for the game has grown alongside it. If you follow the girls softball Instagram or listen to the announcements, you may perceive our high-scoring games as a sign of the questionable division we are a part of, but upon observing our teams funny moments and high-energy dugout, you’ll see that our wins stem also from our team’s strength and spirit. These moments are what make the bonds between our softball players stronger, and the dedication and sense of family found on the Dragons team is unique and, truthfully, what makes it the best. Congratulations to our softball team for everything they’ve worked to accomplish so far, and everything yet to come in the upcoming seasons. 

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