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Sophomore discusses her first year on team

Paige Provost | The Feather Online

After playing her freshman year at a high school in Iowa, sophomore shortstop overcame the trials of a new school, relationships and transitioning into a new team this season.

The campus softball program has completely turned around this year. Going 1-21 overall during the 2017 season and 9-10 last season, the Eagles finished as undefeated East Sierra League champions with an overall record of 16-2.

However, the Eagles season came to a close after losing in the second round of playoffs to Foothill,  5-1, May 9.

Ellie Scully, ‘21, is one of multiple underclassmen playing on this year’s varsity team. I chatted with her about playing on an upperclassmen strong team and how she felt about this program’s dramatic turnaround. 

“I love playing with upperclassmen, they’re really good at making sure we know what we’re doing, giving us confidence and really helping us,” Scully said. “Even though I wasn’t playing I’ve heard stories about how our team has been growing throughout the years and I think that is really great for the school.”

I talked to several other players including Kayla Vanderlinden, ’20, Jordyn Boyer, ’20, and Alina Davila, ’19, on their experiences on the field with Scully.

Pitcher Boyer, who also came from a different state, has an impact on this team. Helping the Eagles with their pitching, Boyer states that she was not a pitcher while playing in Indiana. Boyer says she has the experience of pitching, but is normally an infielder. I asked her what she thinks of her fellow teammate.

“She’s always happy, I never see her in a bad mood,” Boyer said. “She’s always smiling, and if I’m mad or sad and I just look at Ellie she’s always smiling so it makes me happy.”

Richie Cortez chats with sophomore Ellie Scully in the following podcast.

First baseman Kayla Vanderlinden, ’20, has participated in softball for the past three years. During her elementary years, Vanderlinden played club softball and decided she wanted to further her career in high school. Vanderlinden is an upperclassman on this team and I asked her what it is like to have Scully on the field.

“I love being on a team with Ellie whether it’s in volleyball, soccer or softball,” Vanderlinden said. “She is super funny and uplifting. We make jokes and she always tells me to focus because I start laughing too hard. Ellie is a great teammate and I can’t wait to play my last three sports with her by my side.”

Senior Alina Davila told me her favorite moment was when Scully pitched a game and Davila caught for her. The Eagles normally field two pitchers, Makayla Davila, ’22, and Boyer. Scully usually plays in the infield as a shortstop. Davila continued to tell me how she felt about having Scully as a teammate during the final sport of her high school career.

Paige Provost | The Feather Online

Scully placed second in runs this year, crossing the plate 31 times.

“She is an absolute joy to have,” Davila said. “I have never not seen her with a smile. She never gets down if she ever makes a mistake, and she is never mad when someone else makes an error.”

This is Scully’s first year on the softball team, coming from a different state. She has lived in six different states, including California, as well as two countries, The United States and Uganda. I asked her about challenges she has encountered moving so often. 

“I think it was really great for me as an athlete and a student,” Scully continued, “because of all the different change and all the different people I get to meet. It was very hard, it was very different trying to find my spot and where I fit within everyone else not being here.”

It is a struggle coming from a different school and jumping right into the swing of things. Scully did this playing multiple sports this year including volleyball, soccer, track and softball. Not only is she a student athlete, she also participates in the school band as a flutist.

Coming off of multiple disappointing seasons, this year’s team changed the tone for seasons to come. Despite losing seniors Alina Davila and Macie Thompson, the 2020 season will be looking bright for the Eagles. As this year’s undefeated East Sierra League champions, they scored 118 runs this year and gave up only nine runs against league opponents.

The stats don’t lie. This year, the softball team took the league by storm. FC had players in the top ten for batting leaders, slugging, RBI’s, runs, strikeouts and more; six out of the ten were Fresno Christian Eagles according to MaxPreps. All around a great season for these girls, turning the program around completely and setting the tone for future teams to come.

For more sports profiles, check out Richie Cortez discusses FC girls soccer with Deborah Ingerson and Richie Cortez discusses FC basketball with captain Suky Cheema.

Richie Cortez can be reached via email.

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