Four Roseburg seniors have a special bond on the diamond
These four young women have certainly been around the block together when it comes to the fastpitch softball world.
Seniors Jordan Gibson, Samie Bergmann, Madysn Blevins and Marinda Carlyle are winding down productive careers for the Roseburg High School softball team.
Saturday will be senior day for the Indians (14-9, 9-4 Southwest Conference), who host conference-leading Sheldon (20-3, 12-1) in a doubleheader at Stewart Park. The first game is scheduled to for noon.
Sheldon enters the final weekend of the conference season ranked No. 1 in the Class 6A coaches’ poll and No. 1 in the OSAA power rankings. Both the Irish and Indians have clinched automatic state playoff berths along with No. 2 Grants Pass (20-3, 10-3).
“We’ve all cried multiple times,” Blevins said. “When you cry before senior day, you know it’s going to be a hard day. It’s hard to think these are some of our last softball days together (at RHS).
“Beating Sheldon would mean a lot to us. Sheldon’s a tough opponent, but if we beat them twice it would be very emotional and exciting at the same time.”
“It’s definitely sentimental. My mom says I should hold it back, but I probably will cry,” Carlyle said. “I’m an emotional person and these are my last league games. This is my last year playing softball and I want to go out with a bang.”
This is also the final year of softball for Bergmann. Blevins will continue at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, while Gibson is heading to Nevada, Missouri, to play for Cottey College.
“I might cry on senior day, because I’m not playing after this season,” Bergmann said. “It will be a really special day and I’m excited for it.”
“I’m not the kind of person to cry about small things,” Gibson said. “I’m graduating and stuff. Yes, it’s going to hit me, but it’s over probably on senior day. But it really isn’t over because we still have a long way in the playoffs to go.
“I’ll definitely get emotional and sad because I’m leaving my friends and family in Oregon (for college). But I believe if we stay confident and strong this won’t be our last home game.”
Gibson, Bergmann, Blevins and Carlyle have all been starters for the Indians since their freshman seasons. They played their first year under Tony Campos and the last three with Brad Deaver in charge.
Blevins backed up Ashley Martin at pitcher as a freshman, but was in the lineup as the extra hitter. Blevins has pitched to Bergmann the last three years.
Gibson has been a mainstay at third base. Carlyle was at second base as a freshman, moved over to shortstop for a couple of years and moved back to second this season.
“They’ve been our foundation since I got here (in 2017),” Deaver said of the seniors. “They’ve provided great leadership on and off the field. They’re going to be missed.”
The four have helped the Tribe win 68 games and advance to the playoffs each year since 2016. Two of those victories came in the postseason.
“I was pretty nervous as a freshman,” Bergmann admitted. “Everyone knew Tony (Campos) was the top dog and you always had to impress him. I developed a dedication and discipline for the game, and Tony made me the player I am today. Brad’s also a great coach.”
“Oh my gosh, it’s hard to think it’s been four years,” Carlyle said. “Tony set the standard for how Roseburg softball is supposed to be played. Obviously Brad (Deaver) had big shoes to fill when he came into the program. Brad has made the last three years memorable. His practices are really fun.”
Gibson came into the program as a catcher, but developed into an all-conference third baseman.
“Tony pushed me to become the best infielder I can be,” she said. “With Brad it’s a little different, but I’ve adjusted to the way he coaches. Instead of yelling at us he lets us play our game. We’re old enough now to know when we’re at practice we need to work hard and fix little things.”
Blevins has appreciated getting to play for both Campos and Deaver, and all the RHS assistants — including her father, Dave.
“We’ve gone through the same tradition (with both coaching staffs),” she said.
The four seniors have played a ton of softball going back to their elementary days.
“I’ve been playing with these girls for a long time, especially Marinda,” Blevins said. “We’ve been playing together since we were 9 years old. She was pretty much my first friend in Indian Fastpitch (summer softball). Then I met Samie and Jordan. We clicked ... we’ve done stuff together and have been through a lot.”
Gibson said, “I came from a Cal Ripken team that wasn’t part of a family. I started playing Indian Fastpitch when I was 10, and it was one of the best experiences I had and I made some of the best friends. We stay in touch on and off the softball field, and get along really well. We have that serious bond on the field and a goofy bond off of it.”