Posted on: May 5, 2021 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

By Ethan Holesha, Sports Editor

The Moraine Valley women’s softball team wrapped up their season this past Friday with a 6-3 win over Elgin Community College. Despite finishing in a tie for first in the conference, their season will no longer continue.

With the current COVID protocols in place, Moraine has agreed to not participate in the region tournament as well as anything beyond that. So no matter how the softball team finished the season, there would be no playoffs. 

First year head coach Ari Bulthuis was thrown into an environment that can best be described as much different than that of any year in the past. 

“With everything going on it’s just been so crazy,” said Bulthuis. “We had to take three months off of practicing from November to January, so not having that time does hurt a team.”

The season got off to a shaky start as well. The team only won four of their first 14 games before they were able to pick up their play. This was immediately followed by a seven game winning streak. Unfortunately, the women closed out the year by picking up just two wins in their final 10 games.

Despite finishing an impressive 9-2 in conference play, the team’s overall record was five games under .500 sitting at 13-18. 

The 2020-21 Moraine Valley women’s softball roster (Credit: Twitter @MVCyclones).

Freshman catcher/outfielder Alexandria Palumbo said one of her biggest takeaways from this season was, “being flexible and ready to go.” She added that, “a lot of things were up in the air and uncertain so we had to be able to go with the flow and think on our feet.”

Even with not the most ideal results, the team is still happy with the way the season turned out. This year was about much more than winning.

The team had zero positive COVID tests the entire season which allowed them to simply just play the whole season out. On top of that, coach Bulthuis saw a lot of growth from her team in her first year as head coach.

“Watching the team become a family and the girls saying that they’re looking forward to next year I mean, you couldn’t ask for anything better,” said Bulthuis. 

Becoming a head coach has always been in the back of Bulthuis’ mind, and now she finally has her chance to live out this opportunity.

“I’ve always been an assistant,” she said. “I’ve never been a head coach, so this has been one of my dreams and then finally being able to do it, the excitement was there.”

The softball team knew that this season was going to be different, and they adjusted to the conditions. The players were still proud with how the season went. 

Watching the team become a family and the girls saying that they’re looking forward to next year I mean, you couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Head Coach Ari Bulthuis

“For the limited amount of practice and time together we had,” said Palumbo, “I think it went pretty well.”

Head coach Bulthuis gave similar praise to her players, applauding them for evolving over the season.

“Just watching them have fun with it, especially when they’re winning,” she said. “Even if we’re losing in a game, just seeing them not get down on themselves and keep fighting back and not giving up on the game. I mean as a coach you just love to see that.”