Senior softball player Lilja Reynolds on Myrtle Beach and moving to college.
BY MATTHEW DORON ’23
Lilja Reynolds spent her last two spring breaks in the same location: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Every year, the varsity girls softball team fundraises to visit Myrtle Beach and play on all-turf fields close to their hotel.
“COVID canceled that my freshman and sophomore years, but last year, we got back up and running,” she said.
Last year, the softball team traveled with the boys baseball team, but this year the team traveled by itself.
After three years on the varsity softball team, Reynolds said some of her favorite memories of her time on the team have been the Myrtle Beach trips.
“Myrtle Beach is probably my favorite because we all become so close as a team,” she said. “There’s so many memories throughout the season that just build off of that. It sets the tone for the entire season.”
As far as her personal goals for her final season of high school softball, Reynolds said she wants to focus on enjoying her last season with her teammates.
“My goals are just to have fun, to try not to cry that much. It’s our senior year; it’s going to be a lot of fun playing with these girls,” Reynolds said.
The team, she said, has the same two goals every year: to win at the Ohio Central Conference (OCC) and to win more than 20 games over the course of the season.
“My sophomore [year] we won OCCs and the 20 games, I think we won 25. And then last year, we fell short in the OCCs, but we still won over 20 games.”
Reynolds said she looks forward to playing two specific teams: Bishop Waterson and Hilliard Bradley.
“We play Bishop Waterson a lot. I have a couple people that I know there. And I just know it’ll be a lot of fun. It’s always a hard game,” she said. “[Hilliard Bradley] is our senior night, I think that’ll be a really fun game. We always have a good competition between them and us.”
After the season ends, Reynolds said she will be going to teammates’ graduation parties and finishing the last three weeks of school.
“Then I’ll have travel softball over the summer with tournaments,” she said. “And then I think in early August, I go up to college for summer workouts and camp.”
At the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, she committed for softball to University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. Reynolds said that her committment early in the college decision process provided a sense of security, both in the college search and her senior season.
“It definitely makes my senior night and the season less sad knowing that I’ll be playing next year,” she said. “It definitely took the stress off of [finding a] college.”
Reynolds said her three-year tenure on the varsity softball team made her high school experience better.
“I’ve played with these girls for a while and Upper Arlington softball has a great program, having our turf field and just getting all the equipment that we’re allowed to have and all the fundraising that’s done,” she said. “It’s just amazing.”