Softball: Coaches Corner-John Gallagher
The ReSporter has the last Coaches Corner for John Gallagher and the surprising Hawk Softball team from this past season.
We hope you have enjoyed these segments to get inside the mind of our coaches. Stay tuned for articles like this and more as we go through the Summer and prepare for the upcoming Football and Volleyball seasons.
ReSporter: You said earlier that this was one of the more satisfying teams you have had the chance to coach, what set it apart from some of your teams you coached in Colorado?
Coach Gallagher: “It was satisfying in the fact that we started out the year with not much overall experience and improved each practice, each game and in the end became a cohesive group. We had the core (quality pitching/catching) in place and built around that with hard work, dedication and the belief they could win against quality teams. The biggest improvement was their mental outlook. Each game gave the players a little more confidence and that they could compete with anyone. These girls raised the bar and believe they can raise it higher next season. I am very proud of what this team has accomplished.”
ReSporter: Seniors helped in getting you to the playoffs, how do you replace players that have been so much a part of this team since the first days?
Coach Gallagher: “Replacing these quality players will be hard. Each one has made an impact. Not only their physical abilities but more important, their leadership qualities. We have some versatile athletes that can step up and challenge as well as some talented incoming freshman, so I’ll see where the pieces fit. Having a successful year helps going into next season and I’m excited to see what these girls can do.”
ReSporter: The fielding/hitting/and pitching during the playoff series was not playing at its best, how do you prioritize those three areas as you go into next year? And What is your mark for the three different aspects of that part of the game?
(Ex. Fielding needs to be at a .925 percentage, Batting- Team batting at .300…etc)
Coach Gallagher: “I put our priorities in order of defense first and offense second. Replacing two outfield positions, catcher, and an infielder is first on my agenda. Next is continuing to improve on offense by working hard on making solid contact and reducing strikeouts. Next is developing pitching to give us some depth. Pitchers need to work year-round and improve their control, movement, speed, and stamina. So to answer your question my mark would be hitting 300+ as a team, Fielding 900+ as a team, and having a returning pitcher that can throw 75% strikes and less than two walks per 7 innings. Accomplishing this would result in another successful season.”
ReSporter: Any other item you would like to say for the last Coaches Corner for this season?
Coach Gallagher: “GO HAWKS!”