Rhonda Lawson’s big 500 on Softball Senior Night

Rhonda Lawson, Head Coach Santa Fe Softball

Kara George, Santa Fe Staff Writer

Santa Fe Softball has been under the guidance of coach Rhonda Lawson for 22 years. The team has experienced many wins and losses over the years, but with the assistance of Lawson and her co-coaches the team has not lost hope.

October 1, 2020 was senior night for the team and marked Coach Lawson’s 500th win of her coaching career at Santa Fe.

“To be able to get 500 wins is an honor. It only happened because of the current and former players I have had the pleasure of coaching,” said coach Lawson. 

The evening varsity game showcased the three seniors of this year’s Santa Fe team-Allie Cox, Sierra Jones, and Tawny Ford. Joining the seniors was the majority of the varsity team. The first inning started out slowly with two runners on base and no outs. After attempting to strike out the batter pitcher, Drew White, allowed a pop fly hit to the outfield but the Wolves struck back, leading to their first out even though the opposing coach attempted to argue it.

As the game progressed, the Lady Wolves were thrown off as the Perkins pitcher changed her throwing speed. The team caught on quickly, though, and adjusted their game. Eventually, Cox came up to bat and sent the ball flying over the outfield fence to get a homerun

It felt nice to hit a homerun on Senior Night. Hitting it made me feel that all the work, time, and energy I’ve put in for so many years has paid off,” said third baseman and pitcher Cox. “It also made me feel like I had a good season and I was ending it well. I was mainly just happy that I could continue the tradition of a senior hitting a home run on their Senior Night.

In the end, the Lady Wolves gave up three runs bringing the final score to 6-3. The Lady Wolves won their senior night leading Coach Lawson to her 500th win. With the announcement of the victory the team erupted into celebration. One of the assistant coaches and past players, Sierra Burleson, quickly started passing out bright yellow shirts to the team to commemorate the game and the 500th win. 

However, there was more to be celebrated. The underclassmen quickly grabbed their bats and lined up by third base, raising their bats high and revealing in the moment. The parents celebrated by bringing out flowers, balloons, cookies and cake for the girls. As per tradition, the seniors met their parents and coaches at home plate before moving to the pitching mound for pictures. 

After acknowledging this was her last year of playing softball Ford said , “I never thought I would be the type to cry on my senior night or as a senior in general, but some tears were shed. It was really sad to think that my softball career was coming to an end and that most of my development as an athlete had come from the softball program at Santa Fe.”

 Lawson’s dedication to the program paid off. The team brought home a historic win and celebrated the accomplishments of three seniors. Although the girls were celebrating the final year for seniors on the team, they made memories and ensured this wasn’t a goodbye, but a hello to new beginnings.