At 18, Christina Archambault dreamed about one day making the Lincoln High School softball program one of the best in state. Nine years later, that dream is becoming reality for the LHS varsity softball coach. Archambault attended Lincoln for four years, graduating in 2006. As an active athlete, she played both soccer and softball; by her senior year, the softball team had won the city championship for the first time since 1981.
Archambault has played softball her entire life. She played t-ball from kindergarten to first grade and began playing softball in sixth grade as a second baseman and catcher. When she attended Lincoln, the softball program was very weak, which motivated her to come back and improve the experience for the players. Since graduating, she became an assistant coach in 2009. In 2013 Christina was offered head coach when Dennis Muir stepped down from the position.
“I wasn’t surprised, I saw it coming,” she laughed. “[Muir] was there to take the program as far as it could go with his daughter on the team until it was time to hand it down.” Archambault has many great qualities to make a successful team, such as her abilities to throw a ball to second and hit a ball to the outfield.
Lincoln High School Softball Team 2014-2015: Photo Courtesy of Lincoln Softball
Her favorite memory was during her last year as an assistant coach. The team made it to the state quarterfinals at McNary High School.
“On our way to the semi-finals, I broke down crying. I was so proud.” In fact, senior varsity softball player Isabella Rae shares the same story as her most memorable moment on the team.
Archambault explains that the best part of being a coach is building relationships with the players. She not only views the players as athletes, but rather, as friends. She loves working with athletes of all ages and seeing them grow to be young women off to college.
Former Lincoln student Page Claire Mescher has had a large impact on Archambault as a coach.
“She always inspired me and was very supportive; she was my right-hand player whenever I needed her.” When Mescher graduated in 2013, her softball number, seven, was retired under her name. Although she stopped playing once graduating Lincoln, Mescher attends Charleston college in South Carolina.
The Lincoln softball program has always welcomed players at any level. In fact, every year, a number of exchange students join the team for a season. The softball program hasn’t been able to field two full teams for five years. The exchange students make the team a possibility. Some of these players have never learned the game of softball, let alone touched a ball.
“You have to start with the basics: throwing, catching, fielding; batting is always hard,” Archambault explains. No exchange student has ever regretted joining the team, according to Archambault, and has said it to be one of their best experiences.
“It’s exciting when they get to play in a game,” Rae recalls about the foreign students. “Even if they mess up, it’s a cool experience.”
Archambault’s players see her as an understanding mentor and coach. She coaches softball, but also the game of life. Although Rae doesn’t plan to play softball in college, she is excited to be going to play in Hawaii with her teammates this spring break as a senior.
Coach Archambault concludes “Softball is a mental game, it’s also a losing sport. It’s hard to come out ahead. You need to be mentally strong in order to excel.”