Mead softball’s seniors don’t know what it’s like to miss out on the Class 4A state tournament. They’ve never experienced it, not in their three years with the program. This year shouldn’t be any different.
When the Mavericks step onto the diamond for their first game on Tuesday, they’ll have seven seasoned starters guiding them toward success and, hopefully, another run at state glory. This time around, they think they have what it takes to go all the way.
“I think I have incredibly high expectations, but I don’t think it’s anything compared to what they have for themselves,” head coach Amanda Macaluso said. “We have a very large group of seniors and I think every single one of them has that taste in their mouth that they just really want another bite, another chance at state. I think the expectations are incredibly high. And I think we can reach them, we just continue to work together continue to improve and we’re going to get there.”
Since senior ace Joslynn Veltien and senior outfielder Katelyn Wiescamp first joined the squad, they’ve enjoyed a 53-21 record and a trip to the state title game in 2020. They ultimately lost that contest to perennial powerhouse Holy Family, but they’ve made sure their names are in the mix every year.
Macaluso has ensured a winning culture on and off the field, one focused on a strong work ethic and high expectations.
“We’re all seasoned. We all play club,” Veltien said. “All of us kind of know how practices work. I mean, we do have one transfer, but she works really hard and she has a really good attitude, and she’ll fit just perfectly into our program.”
Mead’s conference schedule has been anything but easy over the past few seasons, as Holy Family, Windsor, Erie and Silver Creek constantly provide good competition.
The Mavericks won’t have to worry when they step up to the plate, as they return plenty of firepower with Wiescamp (.411 batting average, 35 RBI), sophomore utility player Adisyn Rademacher (.389, 23 RBI) and sophomore 3B Nikki Ward, who Macaluso expects to step up big this year. Veltien, who recorded 151 strikeouts and a 3.07 ERA as a junior, looks to have an even more stellar senior year.
They’ll also be adding a strong freshman class to the mix, and the seniors know just how to get them up to speed in the high school game.
“We want people to see it’s a game,” Wiescamp said. “We’re playing to have fun but we’re also trying to accomplish goals. It’s almost like a life lesson. You have to work for it. You have to work for everything and all the little things count. We want to teach them that to do the little things right, the bigger things come easier.”