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Season ‘learning experience’ for Seahawks and coaches

(May 15, 2015) The fifth-seeded Stephen Decatur softball team’s season came to a close with a 10-0 loss to the No. 4 Northeast Eagles of Anne Arundel County in Pasadena last Thursday in the first round of Section I of the 3A South Regional tournament.

“I honestly do not believe that is how our season should have ended. We could, and should, have made that a much closer game. We should have had a chance to win,” said Decatur Coach Heather Patnode. “We as a whole did not play well and made too many mistakes that the Northeast team capitalized on. We unfortunately did not do what we needed to do to be successful.”

The Lady Seahawks finished the season with a 6-12 record.

“We are a very young team and not only in age, but with experience in the competitive world of softball,” Patnode said. “We had a tough year, but we came out stronger, wiser and ready for next year.”

The team will lose two players – Hannah Fleming and Hannah Brown, starting center and right fielders, respectively – to graduation.

“As hard and as much as I don’t want to replace these two captains and starting players, I am thankful it is only two this year,” Patnode said.

Patnode said it will be tough to replace Fleming and Brown, but the coaching staff has been working with some of the underclassmen this season to prepare them to fill the positions.

“I have high expectations for us to be much more successful with our young team now that they have had a year with us as coaches and each other,” she said. “They have seen the competitiveness of our conference and understand that it take more than just the season to prepare for it.”

Patnode said she is sad and disappointed the season is already over.

“The spring season is so short and quick I wish it lasted longer. Even though we had a losing season, I really enjoyed working and coaching this group of girls,” she said. “I hope they learned as much about the game as I learned about myself as a coach this year. It was a great learning experience for all of us and I am truly looking forward to next season. It won’t get here soon enough.”

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