The Broughton softball team recognizes it’s not a contender for the Cap-8 Conference title. Its roster isn’t stacked with players honing their games year-round with club teams.
But the Capitals (1-4, 0-2) still take pride in their victories.
Broughton opened the season beating Southeast Raleigh 30-18 on Feb. 27 at home. The Caps have already matched last season’s win total.
It’s a modest goal, but if you listen to the players it’s obvious they’re still having fun playing and learning.
“Everybody on the team really likes the game,” Broughton catcher Regan Curtis said.
One reason the girls remain optimistic is they have a patient coach. Dorrian Stephens is in his second year.
“It’s not about what I get out of it,” said Stephens. “I’m a graduate of the school. I didn’t want to see the girls have a new coach every year.”
Practices and game days are classroom sessions.
In a March 7 loss to Southeast Raleigh, Stephens called out to his runners from the third base coach’s box: “Look alive,” he said. “Passed ball and we’re moving.”
Two pitches later on a passed ball, Curtis moved from second to third and Elizabeth Rotchford from first to second before eventually scoring.
The next inning a batter swung softly for a foul ball.
“Swing through the ball,” he says. “Step into it.”
Later, three straight Caps swing crisply. Parker McLawhorn connects for an RBI double to center field, Curtis follows with a twisting RBI double down the left-field line and Rotchford an RBI single to left field.
“Shout out to Coach Stephens,” Curtis said. “It’s a lot of work. And this year we have a JV team he’s coaching, too. We didn’t have one before. I think that will pay off in a couple of years.”
Stephens is banking on improvement from sophomore pitcher Brianna Francisco.
“She’s getting better,” Stephens said. “We have to keep working with her. We think she can be a good pitcher.”