Q&A with Varsity Softball Captain Hannah Ziperstein


Gabriella Nerger, Staff writer

Varsity softball captain Hannah Ziperstein, a passionate leader of the team and advocate for her sport,  hit her first over-the-fence home run this season. The Forest Scout interviewed her this week.

What inspired you to start playing softball?

“When I was younger I played t-ball, and then began playing softball when I was about six. I played for a couple of travel teams and house leagues until I was 14. Then I decided to join the high school team my sophomore year.”

What is your greatest accomplishment as a captain and teammate?

“As a captain, my biggest accomplishment is probably building a close-knitted team. Myself and Bella Ranallo really wanted to focus on having a bonded team where we can all rely on each other. After arranging countless team bonding events, we definitely accomplished that. As a teammate, I really worked hard this year to improve my batting, and now my team can count on me to get on base almost every time.”

Would you say the team had a successful season?

“In some parts, yes, but in others no. A lot of the girls on the team have never played softball before, yet made varsity due to the demand. Throughout the season, these girls have improved so much that I would consider this one of the biggest successes. My teammates, Maddie Elliott and Elizabeth Casper star in the outfield, catching on average around one or two balls a game.”

What would you define as being a leader of a team?

“Being there for your teammates as well as for your team in general. Our seniors [Christina Carris, Maddie Elliott, Elizabeth Casper], and I skipped the senior ditch day so we could be there for our team and play in the game that night.”

Do you have any advice for younger girls who want to join softball or any other sport?

“One piece of advice I have is to work. If you notice yourself striking out on almost every pitch if you want to improve, put in the time outside of practice. When I was younger I had arm surgery in which they made an error and now my right wrist won’t turn. The wrist function is crucial in swinging a bat, however, the work I put in outside helped me become a 400-batter.”

If you had to choose only one, what was your favorite highlight of the season?

“Probably my home run. We were down about ten and no one was on base. There were two outs and I had forgotten my batting gloves. I had one strike on me and It was a rise ball. I swung and sprinted first. As I rounded first base I watched the ball fly over the fence. Everyone was screaming and ran out to home plate and I jumped on them. It was the first over the fence home run for scouts on our home field. Definitely something I’ll remember forever.”

What’s your opinion about softball being an under-covered sport?

“Honestly it’s sad. One of the main reasons our program doesn’t perform well is because of the lack of opportunities. Firstly, our jerseys are around 20 years old, Bella Ranallo’s numbers have completely fallen off. We asked the athletic director for new uniforms and he avoided it-so our team all ordered a pair of white pants. A girl on our team couldn’t afford pants so we all chipped in too. It’s just sad. For such a wealthy school to not be able to support a team is pathetic. Our pitching machine was also stolen and no one has even offered to get it fixed. Our field is 40 feet over regulation size and no one cares to fix it. Everything is old and used.”

What can be expected for next year’s season?

“I’m hoping that enough or more awareness will be brought to the community about the high school softball team. I think it’s unfair that other sports such as girls lax or girls soccer have many more opportunities. I understand that our team isn’t exactly the best team in the league but perhaps with new equipment and support we can grow to become better.”