Calba Says Softball Team Talented, Optimistic, & Close

Maureen Schick, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Jackie Calba, a junior, has been a standout softball athlete since she first started as a freshman at Notre Dame. She made varsity as a freshman, the only freshman to do so. Calba formally started playing softball when she was 8 years old in a basic rec league team.

However, her love of softball started long before then. Her older sister, an alum of Notre Dame, played softball as well, and Calba said she would watch and play with her sister long before she started playing in the rec league.

“I loved playing it,” she said. “It came so naturally to me.” Her dad also coached her sister and her for many years, so Calba was surrounded by softball growing up.

She fell in love with softball at a young age, and this has stuck with her through the years.  She says she loves “the team aspect of it, how everyone has to work as one.”

However, one of the unique aspects of softball is that it is also an individual sport. Everyone has her own individual job and something that they are best at. She says that is what makes it a “really fun and competitive sport.”

This year Notre Dame softball seems to be different than past years. “This team is probably one of the closest teams we’ve ever had,” Calba explained. “We all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and we all just get along really well together.”

Team members hang out on the weekends and after games and are constantly texting each other in their “infamous group chat.” They are not only just teammates or classmates; they are best friends, too.

The fact that they did not lose any seniors has been helping the team as well.

“We basically just got to pick up where we left off,” Calba said. “No time had to be spent getting to know each other, so we just jumped right in.”

They all realize that there is so much talent on their team, and they are expecting big things from each other this season.

Calba’s goal for this spring is to “give my best effort every game and contribute as much as I possibly can to my teammates, whether that be at the plate or in the field.”

As a team, the expectations are much higher this year. When they step on the field, they expect to dominate in every game.

“We believe that if we can do that, we have the ability to win conference, and hopefully go far in the post-season tournament,” said the junior player.

For now, Calba is planning on continuing her softball career into college. She says she has been “looking around at a lot of different schools and talking to some coaches.”

However, she says it is still too soon to know where she will go, but she plans on keeping her options open. “No matter what happens, though, I plan to continue to involve softball in my life, whether it be competitively or not.”

The Tritons’ next game is Tuesday, April 21, against Ashwaubenon at 4:30 on their home field at Riverview Park in Allouez.