Softball led by new coach

The Amherst Regional High School varsity softball team started off the season this spring with a new head coach, physical education and health teacher Brittni Upchurch.

A member of both her high school and college teams, Ms. Upchurch has coached softball for the past five years, and she coaches a year-round team in addition to the Amherst team. This team, called the CT Eliminators, focuses on getting athletes recruited by college teams. Before coming to Amherst, Ms. Upchurch coached the Granby junior varsity team.

Ms. Upchurch described softball as a sport that taught her about herself and about life. “I love that softball is a mental game. I’ve learned some incredible lessons through the game,” she said.

Members of the team went into the season with a positive outlook.  “There’s a different energy this year,” said junior Mikah McNamara. “We think we’ll have a really strong showing.”

The development of each athlete is a major focus for the team. “As a coaching staff we have emphasized that through our program approach, each of our athletes is an integral part of our success on and off the field,” said Ms. Upchurch.

Going into the season, the team’s goals focused on improvement and hard work. The team used situational simulations to improve their skills at practice, McNamara said. “We just want to play our best every game and leave it all on the field,” said McNamara.

Though the girls had some close games against Ludlow and South Hadley, they had a 0-11 record in late May.