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.
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“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.”