Article by: Matt Sicat
Photography by: Mild Chawalitanon
Third season is now officially underway and as the Bearcat softball program begins to gain momentum, several players stand apart from the rest. Bearcat senior Shun Ohyama, starting third baseman and a role-model within the team, helps shed some light on a team that had gone through a bit of a slump the year before.
“The team didn’t do too well last year,” he says. “We placed 5th, not because we were lacking talent within the team — we were actually one of the best teams at the tournament — but I think because many of our players got nervous and tightened up during crucial moments.”
While the softball team certainly has months of hard work before Pre-IASAS exchange and the IASAS tournament itself, Shun remains hopeful that the team will perform well this season. “I really think we have a chance to medal this year,” he says. “We have a lot of new talent and are working hard 4 times a week with coaches Highland and Willey.” As a player myself on the team, I believe that with hard work, anything is possible. Especially with leaders as experienced, charismatic and enthusiastic as Shun.
Shun cites his experience as a baseball player in Japan as his motivation for joining softball. While his expertise of baseball has transferred over well to softball, Shun still finds ways to practice more and improve his already well-rounded skillset. “I like staying behind after practice is finished so I can get a few hits in,” Shun expresses. “A little extra practice everyday after training has really let me improve my hitting.” Now in fact, when Shun steps onto the plate, it’s not uncommon for the rest of the team to yell, Big hitter! Step back! Adjust! “I’m proud of the progress the team and I have made this year,” he recites. “But we still have a long way to go until we’re ready for IASAS.”
Overall, the Bearcat community is watching anxiously as the softball team continues to grow and improve for IASAS. While the team still has a long road ahead of them, it’s safe to say that Bearcat softball is in good hands with a very capable 3rd baseman and leader. And while anything can happen in softball, Shun and the team are already getting ready to run home with IASAS medals. Shun and his boys aren’t going to be striking out anytime soon – the future of Bearcat softball is looking bright. Go Bearcats!