The past couple years the Towanda Senior softball team has come close at the state tournament.
This year, they are looking for a title.
The team opens play at 5:30 p.m. today with a team consisting of five NEB players and four Towanda players.
“I am very excited,” Ellie Staats said.
“We are super excited for stats this year and finally to win a state title,” Saige Greenland said.
For the girls, winning the title this year is one of the big goals.
“We almost won it last year, but I think we’ve got it this year,” Lizzy Matera said.
“I am pretty excited to go back and win a state title this year,” Shaylee Ackley said.
For some girls it is their first time on the team.
“I have never been to states before,” Jennah Hansen said. “This is my first year, so I’m excited to go down and see what it’s like.”
“I’m excited, I guess,” Jorja Welch said.
The players feel like this team is capable of doing big things.
“I think we have a very good shot,” Thailey Franklin said. “Last year we were very close to winning. I think now we have a stronger team so we have a better shot to win.”
The girls feel like the team has steadily improved over the past three years.
“This is my third year going to states and our team has gotten so much better from the beginning, and I think we’ve got it this year,” Greenland said.
“The Northeast girls are very good, and a very good addition to our team.”
“Last year was a great experience, and a good time and I think this year is going to be even better,” Emily Susanj said.
“Our team gets along so well, it makes it more fun to play,” Mackenna Maynard said.
For Greenland, Matera and Maynard, this is their third year playing together on this team.
“We grew with each other and advanced as players,” Matera said.
While there are some new faces this year, they all know each other pretty well.
“I feel very comfortable playing with five Northeast girls, and I know some of the Towanda people from playing over the years,” Hansen said. “You know what we are capable of because we have played in high school together for years.”
For the other NEB girls it’s nice to welcome some of their high school teammates.
It’s really comfortable knowing you are familiar with your teammates and know what they are used to,” Susanj said.
One difference for the new players from NEB is wearing Towanda colors.
“Very difficult, I don’t want to wear orange,” Welch joked.
“We like maroon and gray,” Hansen added.
For the girls it is fun to play with people from another school.
“It’s good bonding with other teams,” Matera said.
One big challenge for Towanda will be Levittown, who has won the past two titles.
“I am not very excited,” Susanj said. “They are very loud, they make their presence noticeable and they are a very good hitting team,” Susanj said. “We are not excited to see them, but we’ve got this.”
“We know what Levittown can do and we know their strengths and weaknesses,” Greenland said. “We know what it takes to win.”
“They are like our rivals,” Matera said.
The girls aren’t sure how much Levittown remembers them, or if they consider Towanda to be rivals, but Towanda is ready for the matchup this year.
One key for Towanda is their pitching.
“I think I’ve grown as a pitcher from last year, so I think it’s going to be a close game,” Franklin said. “I am very excited, I think I have a good group behind me and I can rely on them.”
A good defense is one of the strengths for Towanda.
“We have a really good defense, so even if they do hit our pitcher, our defense is strong,” Ackley said.
“I feel like everyone can play everywhere, so that can help a lot,” Maynard said.
“We all have our strengths and a lot of different abilities,” Matera added.
Towanda also has a strong defense this year.
“We have a lot stronger hitters this year, our defense is very strong, if we keep on going and keep on pushing, we’ve got this,” Susanj said.
The team has just nine players, so they know all will get a chance to contribute each game.
“It’s nice because none of us have to sit the bench, and we all get to play and contribute to the game as much as possible,” Greenland said.