It’s all in the Brand

Senior reflects on softball career amid playoff run


Daniel Grant

Brand trades places with junior Ciara Gonzales after batting against Glenn. In a set of three, the Rangers beat the Grizzlies in the third match.

Emma Siebold, Editor-in-Chief

The softball team has a morning routine – grind. 

Senior Abby Brand digs her cleats into the sand between second and third base as Drake pours through the stadium speakers. After her four years on varsity, the team is making a playoff run for the first time since 2018. 

“We’re excited to play our game and ride it out,” Brand said. “None of us have ever been to playoffs and we’re all ready to finally go. We’re all goof balls, but we know when to turn the switch on and grind it out.”

Brand started playing shortstop her sophomore year after playing catcher for most of her life.

“It really helped me with the infield role and being a leader,” Brand said. “It was nerve wracking with the pressure, but it’s also just a hard position.”

While most select softball players play their default position, Brand had to adjust with what the high school team needed. 

“In her four years here, we’ve literally had to tell Abby, ‘OK, we need you to play here this year or shortstop this year,’” head coach Amanda Wolf-Schramm said. “Whatever the team needs, she’s going to do it.”

In the regular season, Brand played in 32 games and was at bat 98 times. With 40 hits, she had 29 singles, five doubles, four triples and two home runs. 

“She’s our elected CEO,” senior Taitum Layton said, “and even if she wasn’t, she would still be a leader. That’s just who she is. She’s a great teammate and holds us all accountable.”

Wolf-Schramm and assistant coach Shanika Randall try to keep a light environment on the pitch. The team blasts music from their stadium speakers during practices and home games.

“We want to have a program where our kids feel loose and are excited, but also are ready to compete,” Wolf-Schramm said. 

Brand sets her own personal goals before the season and for each individual game. Even if she doesn’t hit her goals exactly, she doesn’t let herself get discouraged. 

“I still know that I’ve put in my all that day,” Brand said. “For the season, I had the goal of hitting .400.”

Brand exceeded that goal already with a .408 batting average. She leads the team overall in runs, hits, doubles and triples for the season. 

“One of the cool things about Abby is that this program and her teammates are the most important thing,” Wolf-Schramm said. “She is kind of an ultimate team player.”