The Lehigh women's softball team in the dugout of Leadership Park during the game against Penn on March 29, 2023. The women's softball team will take on Lafayette in the rivalry game on April 20, 2024. (Holly Fasching/B&W Staff)

Lehigh softball chants promote positivity


Many sports teams have traditions and superstitions before games, ranging from candy bowls in the dugout to lucky towels on the sidelines. 

However, the Lehigh softball team has a culture unlike many other teams in the Patriot League — which includes loud dugout chants during games. 

The unofficial leader of these chants is senior pitcher and utility player Ansley Dambach. She’s become the leader of these chants because of her outgoing personality and positive attitude. 

“She knows how important it is to maintain energy, especially because softball is so much more mental than it is physical,” sophomore pitcher Chloe Hess said. 

Dambach and the team will find their chant ideas from trends on social media apps, like TikTok, while also throwing every player’s name in and seeing what sticks. 

“It’s fun. It gets everybody going, it makes everybody excited and so it plays out well in the dugout,” Dambach said. 

Previously, former players Jaelynn Chesson, ‘22, and Melissa Fedorka, ‘22, were the unofficial chant leaders of the team. 

Dambach was injured for two years of her college career, allowing her to absorb and learn from the bench, including how to create a chant, maintain high energy and ensure that everyone is focused on the game. 

Lehigh softball’s dugout traditions are different from other teams because each chant is unique to each player. 

For example, for graduate student outfielder Josie Charles, the team sings her walkup song, “Your Love” by The Outfield, even after the song ends and she is at bat. 

Sophomore infielder Julia Mrochko, a transfer student from USF, had the opportunity to take part and experience two different softball cultures. 

“I think having different cheers for each person, everything is tailored toward one another and it creates a really friendly, family atmosphere and you always feel like your team is believing in you,” Mrochko said. 

The chants also serve a strategic purpose. They can affect the player up to bat in a positive way, and simultaneously distract the opponent.

The chants also provide an alley for keeping energy up during games. 

“We’re a type of team that feeds off each other’s energy,” Hess said. “If everybody is upbeat and positive and supporting one another, then we tend to do way better out on the field collectively.”

Conversations in the dugout during games also play a role in the team dynamic.

The conversations can be softball-related, like discussing what play they want to run, but often, teammates will just crack jokes during the game to keep everyone loose and relaxed. 

The next leader for these chants will require someone outgoing, who has a lot of energy and can make sure that energy is prevalent during games. 

Dambach’s pick is none other than Hess. 

“She always picks it up, she’s always good about keeping the energy, and she’s really good about being a loud voice in a loud role,” Dambach said. 

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