Sports team highlight

MIT Softball team highlight

Q&A with the MIT softball team, who missed their season due to the unfortunate events that unfolded over the previous weeks

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The MIT Softball Class of 2020 — from top to bottom, Devon Goetz, Sierra Rosenzweig, Sarah Von-Ann, Madi Picket, and Michelle Wist.
Courtesy of MIT Softball

The MIT Softball team was scheduled to play their first game of the season against Endicott College on Saturday, March 14 — five days after MIT announced that undergraduates would be required to move out of on-campus housing.The Tech asked Coach Brooke Kalman to reflect upon the crisis and how it affected the Softball team. 

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

The Tech: What are you most proud of about your team’s progress this year?

Brooke Kalman: Our team did an awesome job adjusting and adapting to change. We brought an entirely new staff to the program this year, and our team embraced every bit of change. Our team also really bought into a “blue collar work ethic” mentality. Each day they showed up ready to work and get better. It was tremendous to see a group of 17 working together for a common goal.

TT: What makes the current team and the graduating class of seniors special?

Kalman: The current team really kicked off a new era of MIT softball, and because of that they will always be special. We started new traditions and not only set the standards for the 2020 team, but for all future MIT softball teams to come. Our seniors are one of the closest class year groups I ever had the chance to coach. They are all unique in their own way, and because of that, when they come together it makes them even more special. I truly believe our five seniors have been the backbone of this program since I arrived, and probably long before that. They led the way this year buying into the new changes and led the way for their other teammates. They set the standard, and continued to raise the bar every single day. There will be some big shoes to fill in the future not just athletically but culturally. 

TT: Even though you didn’t get the chance to play a full season, is there a moment that sticks out to you this season?

Kalman: One Friday night we had a very rough practice, and that was the real turning point of our season. We had the decision to either stay as is or show up the next morning with an entirely new mindset. The next day we had one of our best practices and that is when I knew we had a special and resilient group. 

TT: Are there any words of wisdom you have for your team or the MIT Community as a whole?

Kalman: Right now all of our emotions are off the charts. I hope my team and the MIT community know that this is uncharted territory for all of us, and we will get through this together. 

The Tech also asked seniors Devon Goetz, Madi Pickett, Michelle Wist, Sarah Von-Ann, and Sierra Rosenzweig who missed their last season to reflect about the sudden end of their final season and the time they spent at MIT. 

Seniors: We are all still emotionally healing and talking about softball can be difficult, so we decided to answer the questions as a group. We want to send our condolences to other senior spring athletes who never got to play their last season. It's a sucky feeling and it hurts… We were lucky though; we have amazing teammates and a coaching staff who went above and beyond to put together a final senior dinner to celebrate us before we all left campus. We can't thank them enough for the effort and the time they put into the senior speeches, the memory jars, the big heads, and other little presents. MIT softball has been our family for four years and we really felt that family love when we needed it most.

TT : What is your favorite memory from your MIT Softball career? 

Seniors: One of our favorite memories was from our sophomore year (the year we went all the way to the World Series). WPI was our biggest rival and we had it out to get them. It was one of our last conference games and we played them at their field on their senior day. We not only won both games, but we mercied them! It was one of the best feelings ever. After our games, our team surprised us with our own ring delivery MIT softball version because we missed our class ring delivery a couple days earlier due to softball games. Everyone dressed up and they delivered our rings to us. This was another moment in which we felt that MIT softball family love. Other highlights include secret snowflake holiday gift exchanges, lip sync battles (and winning), extra reps, chasing the field tarp when it flew away with the wind, and playing in the Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City at the World Series.

TT: What do you appreciate most about the senior class?

Senior: I think I can speak for each one of us when I say we love our class. We are all dedicated to the game and to each other; we were always the first ones in the locker room and the last ones to leave. We push each other to be better people and to become the best versions of ourselves. It would be an understatement to say that we wouldn't be who we are today without each one of us. They are there for me when I need to cry, when I need help on a pset, when I need advice, or when I need a good laugh. They are my best friends and will always be my family.

The Tech, alongside the rest of the MIT community, is deeply sorrowed that they could not see the Softball team perform this season, but we truly hope to see them succeed in future seasons. In addition, we hope that the seniors succeed in future endeavors and thank them for past performances and setting an excellent example for the future of their team. With intense passion for softball and intense love for their teammates, it’s clear that the senior class has been a source of inspiration for the team for the last four years and will continue to be in whatever they do next. 

To the rest of their team and for the future players of MIT Softball, the seniors have one message, “love the game every day, Tech <3.”