'TEAM OF FIGHTERS': Flagler College softball back on track after down 2021

ST. AUGUSTINE — Flagler softball's first game of their doubleheader against a third-ranked Valdosta State team on March 2 didn’t go so well.

The Lady Saints fell to the Blazers 9-0, suffering their worst loss of the season.

They weren’t, however, the least bit discouraged ahead of their second outing — head coach Kathryn Grant made sure of it.

“They were better than us in that game,” said Grant, recalling what she told her team after the first game. “But in this next game, we get a chance to prove to them that we’re better than them.”

Flagler defeated Valdosta 4-2 in the second matchup, showing its mettle and determination to win. The Lady Saints are now 12-10 and confident they can return to their winning ways because of their unparalleled team chemistry and toughness.

Volleyball: Flagler College volleyball coach Matt Affolder steps down after 8 season

On Tennis: FRESH FACE: Former Division I tennis coach Jonas Piibor makes immediate impact at Flagler College

Flagler softball has a talented team that has quality wins against tough opponents this season.

Flagler finished the 2021 season 16-20, an unusual sub-.500 season for a historically strong program. The Lady Saints are back to their winning ways this year, though, because of one simple reason: they get a long. A lot.

“This is the best team I’ve been on in three years I’ve been here,” senior Kaleigh Taylor said. “Everyone is so pliable.”

The young team went into this season with fresh, open minds ready to sacrifice whatever they needed, Taylor added.

The Lady Saints often spend time together at the beach or watch movies together to build their chemistry. In the dugout, they express their unity and support for one another through cheers — a different one for each player.

“They bring a kind of energy that makes you want to go out hard and fight a battle,” junior Paige Meseda said. “It’s the best part of the game.”

Flagler softball is off to a good start this season after a subpar finish last year.

Meseda, Grant and Taylor were all excited about the prospect of conference play considering how they’ve done in non-conference games. Taylor described their battle against Valdosta State as an “energy booster” before they face Peach Belt Conference opponents.

“I definitely have a team of fighters,” Grant said. “They’re not going to roll over and quit.”

This article originally appeared on St. Augustine Record: College softball: Flagler College working way back to winning ways