By: Saije Rusimovici, Staff Writer
Third-year student Hannah Casseres began the co-ed SFU softball club to rekindle her childhood love for the sport and build a space that inspires “teamwork and collaborative effort.”
Playing both baseball and softball growing up, Casseres was on the hunt for a new softball club after her old team “dissolved” prior to her freshman year at SFU. The only problem was SFU had a varsity softball team, and not a club program. Determined to have the chance to play again, Casseres had one question on her mind: “How do you start a club?”
Deterred by the beginning of COVID-19, Casseres was able to set her plan in motion a year later, when classes returned to in-person learning. “It was a lot of work,” she explained. “I didn’t realize how much goes into starting a club.”
Before Casseres could get the club approved, she needed to attract enough members, which was initially a big roadblock. “I needed fifteen signatures — we had no one.” With the help of close-friends turned vice presidents Sunwook Kim, Netanel Orzech, and Chloe Legge, Cassedres received over 90 sign ups at clubs day. “I couldn’t have done it alone,” she said.
Casseres spent some time talking about the difference between baseball and softball and the misconception some people have about softball being easier than baseball, which she “doesn’t think is necessarily true.” In contrast to baseball, softball is played on a smaller field, the ball is bigger, and pitchers throw underhand. Similar to baseball, nine players on each team take the field in softball. Teams rotate between batting and being in the outfield once they’ve reached three strikes. The aim of the game is to get the most runs — players brought around to home base.
Practices are currently held indoors on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. in the East Gym. A typical practice consists of throwing and hitting drills, and a friendly, yet competitive, scrimmage with teammates. While the softball club is running indoor practices as the varsity team gets priority on the field, Casseres is hoping they’ll be able to get a few games going outdoors, especially as the weather gets warmer.
A little softball experience is preferred to join the team as there’s no coach. While playing experience is not technically necessary, players should know the basic rules of the game and how to throw and hit. Casseres encourages any student intimidated by attending practice by themselves that most of the club’s members first joined the team alone, and had a “great time making friends.”
“I feel like the softball community is super accepting,” said Casseres.
There’s no formal registration to join the team. Just send the club an email, attend practice, and try to bring your own glove. Once a registration portal is actuated, team members pay a $35 registration fee which goes towards equipment, such as helmets for outdoor practices. In the meantime, if you don’t have a glove, the team usually has enough to lend out during practice.
“We were really lucky,” said Casseres. “Last year people just brought buckets of balls and tons of bats to help out.” However, the team is always looking for extra equipment as gloves can start at $50. “Any equipment you do have and are willing to bring would be great,” said Casseres.