Not knowing what comes next was the hardest part.
A surreal weekend of softball for Enterprise High School ended Saturday morning with a 14-0 loss to Ashford in the Terry Collins Memorial Tournament in Dothan.
The Wildcats (9-8) finished the tournament 1-2 with a win over that same Ashford team and a 3-0 shutout loss to Dothan on Friday.
Head coach Kate Stump called a “weird vibe” that loomed over the entire weekend — after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey last Friday ordered schools closed from March 18 through at least April 3 and the AHSAA suspended sports for that same period.
“All the kids knew and all the coaches knew that this might be the last game we play for a while — and it might be the last game we play all season,” Stump said. “It was a weird vibe throughout the whole tournament.
“Emotions are high, there’s a lot up in the air. That was probably a factor in the way we played. I don’t blame the kids. It’s hard not to think about the what-ifs and what’s going to happen and things like that.”
The Wildcats have eight seniors on their roster — Mattie Bowden, Danielle Holley, Katie Snell, Julianna McCollough, Elizabeth Williams, Shani Waters, Brittany Womack and Sarah Holland.
“I hate for all of the kids, especially for those eight seniors who have given their heart and soul for this program since they were in the seventh or eighth grade,” Stumps said. “For their season to be ripped out from under them, it breaks my heart.
“They’ve been through a lot already in their senior season, a lot getting rained out and now dealing with this. It’s definitely a tough pill for them to swallow. We’re trying to adjust and plan and do everything we can for them. It’s a sour feeling for them.”
The best part about the weekend, she said, was getting to play in the first place.
“I was unsure if we were going to get to play, the kids were unsure if we were going to get to play,” Stump said. “I honestly think we were just grateful to get one more game in and not worry about outcome or results and just enjoy being out there with each other and getting to play the sport we love. …
“Kudos to coach (Jessica) Noble and coach (Patricia) Ball at Dothan. It was a first-class event. They kept the kids as safe as they could with the in-and-out procedures they had at the gate. I was very thankful we even got to play softball this weekend.”
And while it’s frustrating not to be able to tell her players what’s coming next, Stump said there’s a lesson in that, too.
“It really kind of puts things into perspective for you,” the coach said. “I think it taught them a lesson that you never know how long you’re going to have something until it’s gone. The bright spot was us being able to go out there and play. …
“You have to understand this is a part of God’s plan. You have to trust the process and trust what’s going on and really lean on Him. That’s all we can do.”