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  • Astrid Leppig and Anna Wood

Softball Team Faces Lack of Resources and Support

On the surface level, it’s been a successful year for Walls softball. According to seniors and captains Samantha Goldfrank and Tess Usher, “the season is going great.” 

The team had six wins and three loses in their regular season and were the runner up in DCIAA softball finals against Jackson Reed. The team has seen a lot of progress welcoming players who are new to the sport, Usher (‘24) said, “A lot of people have improved drastically.” Additionally, two players, Usher, who plays second base, and third baseman Anna Morelli (‘27) made the DCIAA all league second team which comprises the best players from all DCPS schools, voted on by coaches. 

Beneath the surface level though, the team has struggled tremendously with transportation and funding issues. Walls does not own buses to transport the teams to fields, so the team has to find alternate transportation for each game, often relying on other schools’ (usually their opponent’s) buses. 

Most of the buses were not even on time, “The bus would come like hours late,” said Thu Huynh (‘25). Not only were the buses late, according to Maeve Cummingham (‘26), “Usually we have to share a bus with the other team, so the bus is really late to Walls and extremely crowded.” The bus being late has been a significant hurdle for the team. Usher (‘24) expressed, “We’ve gotten to the field 10 minutes before the game starts, so that we can’t fully warm up.”

Another problem the softball team faced, like many Walls sports teams, was difficulty accessing facilities for practice. Usher (‘24) said, “We practice right on the mall in a public field, so we don’t have a permit or anything, this means anyone can be on the field when we’re there, and we can’t tell them to get off of it.”

Beyond logistical difficulty, the team has struggled with the implications of their game – softball, a women’s sport. 

Goldfrank (‘24) said, “Even the name softball itself, people kind of downplay it, because it has the word ‘soft’ in it.” Cunningham (‘26) compared it to the baseball team, “The baseball team raised a ton of money, they play a bunch more games, so there’s more opportunities and recognition for them.” 

While most schools in D.C. have a baseball team, many schools don’t have softball teams, and the ones that do, are not well developed. Goldfrank (‘24) expressed, “It also just makes me sad because the softball teams through DCIAA are not very good and not very well-funded, so our games aren’t even that competitive. I feel like that’s not the case with many other sports,” an issue that Goldfrank largely attributes to softball’s connotation as feminine.

Although the softball team has faced some problems, players have continued to band together and express their love for the team and the community it has created. Huynh (‘25) said, “It’s not just a team, it’s like being a small family.” 

Cunningham (‘26) said, “Last year it was mostly seniors, this year it’s been a lot more fun, because we’re more connected as a team.” 

“It’s really rare that you find a team where everyone gets along and there’s no ill feelings about anyone, we’re all friends on the field,” Goldfrank (‘24) added.

To keep the team spirit next year, the softball team strives for committed players who care about the team. The team was started last year and before, anyone from Walls who wanted to play softball had to play for the Jackson-Reed team. Usher (‘24) encouraged people to come play for the team, “It’s nice to play for your own school. Goldfrank (‘24) added, “Continue the Walls softball legacy!


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