Plant Softball Returns


Lizzy Breen

Plant softball has been chasing a district win in the post-season and finally attained the goal last year, pictured here celebrating after knocking out Alonso. This season with six seniors on the verge of graduation, the Panthers are more driven than ever to take states.

Lizzy Breen, Staffer

Spring athletics are kicking off at Plant High School. Many teams are preparing to conduct their tryouts in the upcoming weeks. The Lady Panthers Softball team, coached by Lauren Castellvi-Donahue, is hosting their two-day tryouts on Monday, Jan. 23 and Tuesday the 24. The team has been anxiously awaiting the start of the spring 2023 season. Last year, the Lady Panthers broke numerous records, including attaining the softball program’s first winning season in over a decade and winning two district games, knocking out Alonso and Steinbrenner in the postseason. Since last year, four softball student-athletes have committed to further their athletic and academic careers at universities across the US. Three seniors have signed: Lauren Luciani to Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, Teagan Riley to Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, and Gracie Ciccarello in St. Petersburg, Florida. Belmont, however, is getting two Plant softball athletes, as Junior Addison Swink has recently verbally committed to the university.  

“I’m excited for Plant’s season to start because of how well the team has bonded together,” Swink says. “During the season, I have so much fun at practices, even the early ones, just because of who I am surrounded by daily.” 

The Lady Panthers have participated in multiple team bonding activities, including water ballooning first-year athletes who make the team and sporting colorful T-shirts. Swink contributes much of her softball success to such events and to the Plant coaching staff.  

“I have gotten so much support from the Plant softball coaches, and they are always pushing me to be better,” comments Swink.  

The Plant coaching staff had a drastic change in leadership about four years ago when Plant alum and former panther softball player Lauren Castellvi-Donahue became head coach. Since then, Damon Ramirez, Jorge Castellvi, and Ricardo Lizcano have joined Donahue to coach the Lady Panthers. The team’s records have only risen since Donahue’s arrival, and last year she reached a goal the staff has been hoping to achieve for years: a winning record. For the spring 2022 season, the Lady Panthers ended with 13 wins and 12 losses, including two district postseason wins. 

For more information follow the link below: