HELENA — The Helena Capital Bruins softball team, similar to many teams across Montana, is trying to get in as many reps as it can before the season opens. When playing softball in Montana, though, you’re at the mercy of Mother Nature, which means teams across the state are stuck taking ground balls off of gym floors and hitting training balls as opposed to softballs.
Capital was able to get a few days of practice in on the dirt, thanks to the help of some parents who cleared off a field, but wintry weather has put that on hold for the time being.
“It’s definitely not fun to come back inside,” said senior catcher Sarah Bury when Wednesday’s rain showers forced the Bruins indoors.
Now with a much younger squad, Capital head coach Mike Miller said his team could face some challenges early on while they adapt.
“We graduated 10 seniors and a lot of those girls filled the position. We worked some of the other girls in at other times and we have a lot of girls that have played a lot of softball,” said Miller. “I think we’re going to be fine, might have a few growing pains, might take a little time to recognize what it’s like to play at a different level.”
Though a younger team can pose some challenges, senior pitcher Nicole Ames said she’s pleased with the way the team has come together early on.
“I’m really excited to see how we’re going to mesh. So far we’re all getting along and really working hard together, so I think we’re improving a lot,” said Ames. “I think when we get into the game, it’s really going to show how much we can trust each other and how much we can depend on each other, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The Bruins were slated to open their season on March 29 at the Great Falls Jamboree, but the event was cancelled, according to Helena School District Athletic Director Tim McMahon. McMahon said in an email to MTN Sports, “We are trying to find a replacement for both high school varsity teams in Missoula but it has not been confirmed yet. Possibly by (Thursday) we will know. Even if we get it scheduled it also may end up cancelled depending upon weather.”