Written by Abbey Williams // Graphic by Wagner Valdez
Harding athletes don’t always need luck, but some Lady Bison softball players have good luck traditions.
Junior outfielder Ashton Bryce said she believes in luck as an athlete.
“I do believe luck exists, especially in sports,” Bryce said. “You can look at so many different instances in sports where luck 100% played a factor in a game.”
Bryce said the team does some things based on superstitions.
“I don’t believe that we have ever won a game purely based on luck,” Bryce said. “There are several things that we do that are more superstitious, I think, than luck. For example, we have the same pregame routine and do it the exact same way every time. There are sometimes when a call goes in favor of us and not the other team, and that could be luck in that case.”
Bryce said if they played a good game and didn’t win, that could be bad luck.
“Same thing goes for losing,” Bryce said. “One call or one play that didn’t go our way that could’ve, that lost us the game could be considered luck. Coach says, ‘We didn’t have luck on our side,’ or ‘We just needed some luck that game and didn’t have any,’ if we played a really good game and didn’t win.”
Senior outfielder Madison Fraley said she is superstitious when it comes to softball.
“I don’t focus too much on luck, but I would say I’m very superstitious when it comes to softball,” Fraley said. “I like to have a routine. It keeps my head clear and helps me feel in control.”
Fraley said she believes a tradition she and her teammate do contributes to winning.
“We most definitely win games because of one of our superstitions,” Fraley said. “My teammate Jordan Cabana and I have a certain tradition we do, but only when absolutely needed. Multiple game-winning hits and plays have been made right after we do it. I can’t say exactly what we do because it would ruin its power, but we both have to 100% believe it will work. Ninety-nine percent of the time it works.”
Fraley said the softball team participates in “Vest Friday,” a tradition started by sophomore catcher and infielder Brooke Johnson, who stole the idea from her cousins.
“The softball team does connect over wearing vests,” Fraley said. “It gives us something to look forward to on Fridays. The best part is when we meet up in the Hammond Student Center after chapel and look at all of our vests.”
Fraley said Vest Friday is a fairly new tradition.
“Vesting on Fridays is a fairly new tradition, and I’m not sure I can contribute a win to the vests yet,” Fraley said.”However, I do believe the vesting will continue to grow in power. My dream would be to look into the stands on a Friday home game and see a crowd full of fans, all in vests. I believe that would most definitely contribute to a Harding softball win.”
Fraley said she does a few other things for superstition besides Vest Friday, such as putting on eye black, glitter, a helmet, EvoShield and gloves the same way every time. She uses the same throwing balls throughout the entire game and fires remix cheers in the dugout as well.
Johnson said the team connects over Vest Friday.
“This is something that we started doing about a month ago,” Johnson said. “My whole family loves vests, and they started an Instagram account called @vestfriday. We all get together and take a photo, and it just makes the team and some people around campus feel a sense of community.”
Johnson said luck gives her a sense of comfort and confidence when it comes to softball.
“I believe in luck,” Johnson said. “Not in a way that it directly affects the outcome, but it gives you a sense of comfort and confidence to play to the highest level due to your routine that you trust. There’s an element of luck in every game, whether that is the umpires or refs, weather, or things just unfortunately happening.”