Softball: Kaufman steps behind plate for Rebels
Ridgewood's Crissie Laskero slides home safely when the throw to Timothy Christian catcher Hope Zigterman arrived too late. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 2, 2012 8:27AM
The Ridgewood softball team has not had the type of season it had hoped for so far due to injuries and players choosing not to play for the Rebels this spring.
But when there were injuries, the Rebels have had players, such as Megan Kaufman, to step in to fill the void.
The Rebels junior infielder has spent time at shortstop this season but an injury to Crissie Laskero behind the plate has given Kaufman the opportunity to play catcher. According to head coach Michelle Farrell-Fink, her time behind the plate has been relatively smooth, but she has experienced some growing pains along the way, which are to be expected from a player learning a new position, especially a tough one like catcher. But Farrell-Fink is pleased with her overall progress.
“Megan has done a great job behind the plate for us so far,” said Farrell-Fink. “I know it is difficult to change positions at the end of the year, but she was willing to do it for the team.”
Along with the growing pains that come with learning how to play a new position, there is also added pressure to perform while on the go. But coach Farrell-Fink feels Kaufman has done a great job handling all those pressures and seems to be taking the learning process in stride. The coach also hopes that as Kaufman progresses that she can begin to help make the pitching staff better as well.
“We realize this puts a lot of pressure on her, but she seems to be accepting it well,” said Farrell-Fink. “We are hoping that as she learns the position and that she will be able to help the pitchers also.”
But Farrell and her staff knows that it is going to take some more time for Kaufman to completely learn the position. So for now, Farrell-Fink just wants her to focus on improving and learning how to play defense, as having a good defensive catcher is a vital aspect to any team’s success in the field.
“Right now we need Megan to concentrate on her defense,” said Farrell-Fink. “I know this is a sacrifice for Megan, but besides pitching, this is the second most important position and she has done a great job for us so far.”
Indeed, in the final five games of the regular season with Kaufman behind the plate, the Rebels won two (against Timothy Christian and Payton) to improve their overall record to 7-14.