Last weekend, the SOU Club Baseball team organized a scrimmage to kick-off the spring season. Three years ago when the club started, it was built on a platform of competition. While that is still true, the captains, Eileen O’Keefe and Kellan, Larson decided to begin this season with a different approach. “From a captain’s point of view, I want to win as many games as possible,” explained O’Keefe who doubles as club president. She continued, “From a president’s point of view I want to get as many people who want to play baseball to play.” A female in a predominantly male sport, O’Keefe believes baseball should be
open to everyone. “I think the fact that I’m doing what I love no matter what people say inspires me to keep playing,” she said before adding, “there needs to be a change.” With this in mind, the team prides themselves on sportsmanship and diversity. This year’s roster includes a female captain, four international students, and a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. The president observed, “I don’t know of any other baseball team with so many international students or women playing. It makes us a really creative team.”
While putting in game-winning effort, practice days are intended to be a time for learning and skill development. Players’s experience levels range from seventeen years of competitive baseball to first time players. Rather than seeing this as a disadvantage, Captain Kellan Larson sees it as one of the greatest things about the team. “Players that are newer to the game have a fun, low stress, and equally competitive mentality,” he said. As a team leader he enjoys teaching different things about baseball. “It reminds me how much I love the game, and to bring that to people is a joy for me and, I think, for them,” he remarks. Overall, the team works on building one another up and developing a healthy competitive mentality. “Our core values are having fun and working really hard,” Larson said.
Third baseman and Korean international student, Don Keum, was excited to continue his baseball career while studying abroad. Going on his eighth year of playing baseball, he hopes to, “win as many games as he can.” Keum’s mutually international roommate Seop Jeong however, joined the team for another reason. “Don is crazy about baseball, so I decided to play too,” he explained. “and it’s so fun!” Jeong added, “I like playing because [as exchange
students] we are all welcome to play together.” During practice he enjoys playing outfield and working on his at-bat technique. As a first time player, his main goal for the season is, “to score one point and go an entire game without any errors.”
The baseball team practices four times a week and has weekend games regularly throughout Spring Term. Their first home games are April 21st and 22nd at the Ashland High School baseball field on Lincoln Street against the University of Washington Huskies. O’Keefe reiterated, “Anyone can join the team and we’re always recruiting.” If you are interested in a becoming a member of the team, email Captain Eileen O’Keefe or Captain Kellan Larson via their SOU email address.