HUDSON — You could consider it an island of misfit toys.
The Hudson softball team is surrounded with young ladies who have barely reached puberty.
The Explorers have six freshmen on their varsity roster. Five of those youngsters found themselves in the starting lineup on opening day and the top three spots in the batting order belonged to … wait for it … freshmen.
Suggesting name tags might not be a reach when you pay a visit to Hudson’s ballfield.
Of course, there is one very noteworthy exception. And that one very noteworthy exception is the Explorers’ most seasoned, most reliable and most gifted player.
She is the one and only Cami Madar.
The lone senior on the team, Madar is in no hurry to close the curtain on her impressive career.
To keep the Grim Reaper away from her dugout, she’ll need some help from quite a few of her friends. Interestingly enough, some of her companions have yet to earn their driver’s license.
“I’m super excited,” Madar said. “I’m really excited to see our freshmen be able to come in. It’s really refreshing to know that I can actually rely on them being so young.”
They have a long way to go before they can call this experiment a smashing success.
But the signs are looking quite promising thus far.
Host Hudson overpowered Garfield Heights to the tune of a 17-0 shellacking Wednesday in its season debut.
All six freshmen reached safely at least two times. Five of those young ladies visited first base three times.
As for the Explorers’ matriarch, she also treated the batter’s box as if it was a condemned building.
Madar, who batted cleanup against the Bulldogs, smacked two singles and reached base in all four of her at bats. She also scored three times and showcased something that was not previously seen by her teammates and coaches.
Madar apparently has an ambidextrous gene.
Leading off the top of the third, the right-handed Madar decided to switch sides. Fittingly enough, her left-handed debut was a scorching, seeing-eye single that reached left field.
“I was able to mess around a little bit and have some fun on the left side,” Madar said. “We were able to start off on a really good note.”
Madar has spent much of her career getting her knees and various other parts of her body damaged by an unpredictable yellow softball.
On Wednesday, the honor, or perhaps, curse of wearing the tools of ignorance went to appropriately enough, a freshman.
Laurel Gomersal earned the nod behind the plate while Madar started at third base.
Madar wasn’t the least bit jealous, though. She expects to see more time at the hot corner and possibly at the shortstop position as she writes the closing chapter of her riveting novel.
“Being the lone senior, it has been great to have some help knowing that I can fall back on them,” Madar said.
Having so many first-year varsity phenoms is expected to be both exhilarating and terrifying for the Explorers.
Will the freshmen be able to set the world on fire and return Hudson to its elite status for the first time in a decade?
Or will they be overwhelmed and overmatched against a gauntlet of Suburban League National Conference opponents who have no interest in a freshman sovereignty?
In the end, the elder statesman will be their rock if this new monarchy is going to ascend the throne.
And Madar will gleefully play the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury in this potential coronation.
“The freshmen have been fabulous,” Madar said. “They play some travel [ball]. I will see them over the summer time, perhaps.
“I think it’s great knowing they can lead off. They have some speed as well. I think it’s going to be better than the years in the past.”
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.