‘Different, but exciting’: Dartmouth High softball adjusts to modified spring season
After being benched following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Dartmouth High softball team is back in full swing this spring.
Coach Beth Arguin noted that the team started off strong, going undefeated through the first four games of the modified spring season before dropping back-to-back games against New Bedford and Bridgewater-Raynham.
The Indians bounced back with a 18-3 over crosstown rival Bishop Stang on May 24 to improve to 5-2.
“We’re still working on a few things, but it’s been good so far,” Arguin said.
The main thing she’s hoping to work on with her first team since 2019 is shaking off some of her players’ rust and minimizing fielding errors.
“And that’s what costing us most of our games — it’s errors,” the coach said.
She added that thankfully, there weren’t too many new Covid-era rules in place other than having to space players more out in the dugout and wear a mask — a rule which was dropped by the MIAA in mid-May.
Senior pitcher Allyson Oliveira said that while masks didn’t make play “too difficult” during the first few games, they weren’t the most fun to wear while on the mound.
“It’d get a little tiring and sweaty,” she laughed.
Heading into the season, Arguin’s biggest concern was making sure enough girls signed up to play this season. According to the coach, there are only 18 players split across the varsity and JV programs.
“This is probably the lowest I’ve had registered as head coach,” Arguin noted. “It’s definitely the smallest group I’ve seen.”
One of the biggest challenges with managing such a small roster, Arguin said, is trying to keep her teams as healthy as possible during the brief season.
“You just kind of hope and pray that you can get through a game without injuries,” she added. “Unfortunately, it did finally happen to us.”
During a 3-0 loss to New Bedford on May 19, one of the varsity players had to be taken out mid-game and the team had to play two of the outs with only two players covering the outfield.
“That was tough,” the coach said. “Thank goodness [New Bedford] didn’t hit it out there.”
While the roster is shorter, players said the game is still as fun as ever.
“It’s definitely smaller, but we’re working together really well,” Senior fielder Joya Alves said. “And I love them all.”
A returning member of the 2019 team, she added that despite some of the season’s challenges, it’s great to be back after a year away from the diamond at Quinn School.
“It’s different but exciting,” Alves said. “I’ve missed my friends and I’ve missed softball.”