The first pitch of softball season at Southern is, in many ways, a symbolic lighting-of-the-torch, paving the way for an exciting year of intramurals on campus. This year, rain pushed the start date back two days, but softball season eventually kicked off last Wednesday, September 1.
A total of 24 teams are competing across three leagues: Ladies, Men’s A and Men’s B. The players’ age range is as wide as ever, with numerous freshmen sharing the field along with long-time intramural veterans such as biology professor and captain of Old School, Tim Trott.
This season isn’t short of fun softball-inspired puns, either — Bunt Cakes and Bat Intentions are certainly among the most clever team names this year.
Students and faculty alike are excited to watch and play softball until the end of the season on September 23.
Seth Ream is a junior theology student who transferred to Southern this year from the University of Arizona. He recently injured his foot playing basketball, so for at least half of the season, he will be cheering on his team Big Bad Baby Cakes from the dugout.
“I thought I’d be good in a week,” Ream said. “But it didn’t heal, so now I have to get x-rays … I just can’t wait to get out there and play.”
Ream said although he played baseball in high school, he didn’t have many opportunities to play organized sports in Arizona.
“I was too busy studying,” he said. “Now that I’m here, I’m really excited to get into Southern’s intramural system.”
Adjunct Professor of Construction Management J. E. Spence has been attending Southern intramural games for 15 years — regular intramural participants on campus would likely recognize his face. For Spence, the start of softball season brings more than an opportunity to play sports.
“The camaraderie that students have … you can tell that they just love being out there with each other and playing the game,” he said. “I know this is college and all, but to see this much enthusiasm from the students is great.”
Maddie Chant, a junior psychobiology and pre-dent major playing with Bat Intentions, echoes Spence’s sentiment.
“I choose to play softball because it’s such a great way to improve mental health and stay active throughout difficult times in the school year,” she said. ‘What excites me about it is that teammates are so encouraging to one another, and it builds great friendships.”