By Rebecca Vosters
Five seniors make up the strong backbone that led the Pacelli Cardinals in their achievements this season and the girls will continue to showcase that leadership as they head into the state tournament.
Kaylee Krostag, Hannah Raflik, Sarah Mitch, Sami Kay Shafranski, and Ashleigh Fuchs are the five senior leaders.
“Each one of them has held a leadership role this year,” said head coach Ann Molski. “They each bring something different to the team.”
Molski gave the example of Krostag. The determination she displays in the circle is supported but the team she knows and trusts behind her.
“I could single Sami out, she’s one of the top outfielders in the state,” Molski said. “But when we moved her in to short stop last month it took all five seniors to make that transition smooth.”
The girls pointed out the team aspect that helped them throughout the season.
“We achieved our goal, but we did it together,” said Mitch.
Shafranski added everything is done as a team and there is no “I.”
All five girls agreed the chemistry between them and the rest of the team has been key this year.
Mitch said there has not been any drama this year.
“We’ve had lots of time together on and off the field,” Krostag said. “We’ve played together for four years.”
“I hope the chemistry stays with the team,” said Mitch. “You can have a team of good athletes that don’t get along and they won’t do well, but a team of athletes that get along well will do great things.”
The Cardinals proved they are capable of great things as they prepare to head to the state tournament this week.
“Now we have a chance to play on Goodman Diamond,” said Raflik.
Molski said the awe of the tournament and being in the Badger locker room is something she know she’ll see her seniors and returners help the other girls with.
“Every single person on this team helps out in every way they can regardless of age,” Krostag said.
“We’re all willing to step up to the plate,” Shafranski said.
Molski wants to see her underclassmen continue to lead by example next year.
“Everything they said they back up with actions,” Molski said. “They never order the freshman to do anything they always do it together. There is no ‘I’ on this team and I really want to see that continue.”
The Cardinals next game will be Friday June 12 against McDonell Central in the semifinals.
This will mark the beginning of the end for Pacelli’s seniors and its bittersweet.
“Our last game will be played on that field,” Shafranski said.
The girls said that while they want to do well in the tournament that’s not that main focus.
“It’s going to be fun,” Fuchs said.