Strong senior leadership drives Comets towards another GMC title
Abby Miller | Staff Writer
The Mason softball program is no stranger to success.
Over the past three seasons the Comets have compiled a record of 72-12 (52-2 in the Greater Miami Conference (GMC)), won three GMC championships and three district titles. Senior shortstop and University of Dayton signee Ali Weekley has been a key part of the Comets success and looks to continue the Comets’ winning ways into the 2019 season.
“We’ve come up with a new model of never settling and so if we don’t do something right, we should do it again to fix it,” Weekley said. “We have gotten this new mentality of, ‘will this win state?’. So, we are focusing on every play, every pitch, to make sure that we are doing the reps so we can hopefully win state.”
Weekley and the rest of the Comets have their eyes set on winning the GMC for the 6th consecutive year, and competing for the ultimate title of state champion this year. The Comets will rely on senior John Carroll signee Katie DeBord to play her role in the pitching circle. In her career, DeBord has a record of 19-1 with 88 strikeouts in 116 innings.
DeBord knows the commitment it will take this season to achieve the team’s goals, and hopes to leave her mark in her senior season.
“We have to make sure we stay focused in practice,” DeBord said. “We need to treat every practice like it’s a game day. We can’t be going into practice taking an off-day. I think that everyone knows their role on the team, so they know who can help out in which way.”
This year, all five seniors on the team are committed to play softball in college, and hope to lead the team in their last season representing the green and white. According to head coach Liann Muff, leadership from these seniors is one of the many major keys to having a successful season this year.
“They’ve really bonded well through their preseason workouts,” Muff said. “They’re on teams during those workouts and they compete against one another so there’s a lot of great team chemistry, and great leadership emerges during our preseason because of that.”
The Comets will look to replicate the offensive firepower they produced in 2018; a season in which they hit .455 as a team, and stole 86 bases.
Thirty-one of those stolen bases came from Indiana University commit Tori O’Brien. A big part of the Comets offense will be based on getting on base with bunts or ‘slap’ hits featuring O’Brien, North Carolina verbal commit Carsyn Snead as well sophomore Sydney Carter. Muff knows in order to replicate their past success, the Comets must focus on the little things.
“Since we started practicing, our focus has been on attention to detail,” Muff said. “We’re making sure we are keeping the highest standards no matter what we’re doing – whether we’re doing drills in practice, we’re having live batting practice, or we’re scrimmaging. We want our standards to be the highest.”
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Photos by Tanner Pearson.
Video by Abby Miller.