Softball at Air Academy High School, Up Close and Personal


JV softball team before playing a home game. Top row left to right: Jasmine Cofield, Maria Vanetti, Joy Kemp, Paige Uebelhoer. Bottom row left to right: Jordana Aleman, Penelope Aleman.

The sport softball has been around for more than a 100 years.

The first softball game was played in 1887 and has been played around the world ever since–but what does softball mean to Air Academy High School? 

Air Academy’s softball season started in the beginning of August and will end in early October. The girls have played many games since August and will continue to compete.

 They have lots of practices and three games throughout the week. Both the JV team and the Varsity team have had a good season and the Varsity team is hoping to be on their way to state very soon.

Evelyn Duab hits during a home game against Mesa Ridge High School.

But what is it like inside the girls’ life?  As sports often do, softball creates a time constraint for players. Some girls have even sacrificed other activities such as band, clubs, and homework time to commit to the sport. 

However, time is not the only challenge; stress is also a huge factor in the game. 

“The biggest challenge is the mentality needed to play the game,” said starting Varsity Catcher Abby Litchfield. “It’s a game of failure, so if you cannot handle that, it makes for a very difficult game.”

Ultimately, the stress of the game is worth it to Litchfield.

“It’s introduced me to a lot of amazing people and I’ve been able to have classes with them and see them everyday for at least two hours, so we’ve gotten pretty close,” Litchfield said. 

JV starting first baseman Jasmine Cofield. “ I have met some really amazing people that I otherwise wouldn’t have met. The fact that we have great coaches and really great bonds as a team improves teamwork skills.” 

Brina Baysinger pitches at a home game against Mesa Ridge High School.

The coaches are also having a lot of fun; Varsity Coach Bob Wingett is very proud of his team this year. Wingett has been coaching softball for around 25 years. Eight of those years have been at Air Academy High School, mostly coaching the JV team, but this year he has changed to coaching the Varsity team.

He also encourages students to come and watch the games. 

“Part of the softball teams’ responsibility is being around and letting people see us,” Wingett said. “So, if you see us, come to the game and come support us.” 

In fact, many of the girls would love the support of the school. The girls play three times a week all the way through September. The games start at 3:30 p.m. and are held at the Kadet softball field during home games. 

“Softball as a program, I think, is really under represented because of our outstanding boys soccer team and the football team,” Cofield said. This is often true; some sports can be overlooked in favor of other activities. Student attendance is often greater in soccer and football.   

Many of the girls on the team believe that softball needs all the love and support it can get. Come meet the girls and cheer them on from the stands. Not only will you be witnessing a piece of Air Academy High School, you will get to see an American tradition up close and personal.