Story by: Abigail Kim
Photo by: Sunhye (Sunny) Choi
Girls’ softball is looking to have a successful spring season after last season’s results left them more confident than ever. The team is led by co-captains senior shortstop and third baseman Danica Stirling and junior third baseman and middle infielder Emma Becerra.
Softball is played in the spring, but players continue year-round training. During the off-season, players will play for their travel teams, preparing for high school season, also helping to ensure a smooth transition each spring.
“For the most part, a lot of the girls play travel ball during the off-season,” Becerra said. “It is expected that everybody gets some reps when we are not in season, which makes it a lot easier to start up again.”
Girls’ softball currently has 34 players combined on both their JV and varsity teams. After only losing two seniors and gaining valuable freshmen, both Stirling and Becerra are sure that their season will go well.
There are three coaches for the JV and varsity teams — Christine Jordt, the varsity head coach, Curtis Kan, the assistant coach, and John Ramos, the JV coach.
“Coach Christine’s first year with us was last year and she really changed our team for the better. Coach Curtis has been with us for three years and has also made a great impact on our team dynamic,” Stirling said. “Coach Ramos has roughly been coaching our team for 2–3 years. He is the light on our team.”
The team won four league games last season in 2023, which was a big improvement from 2022, where they were defeated in all of their league games. Additionally, they were just short of making it to CIF playoffs in 2023. This season, they are confident that they will be able to beat both San Marino and Monrovia.
They had a 0.500 in their games, meaning they had a 50 percent win rate, winning 12 out of 24 games. These results are significantly higher than the 2022 season, where they only won 25 percent of their games.
“Last season, we won our first league game in several years which was a great feeling, but it also made the other teams in Rio Hondo respect us more than they did in previous years,” Stirling said. “We had a fairly young team last year and really bonded with one another which set our team culture up tremendously for this season.”
A huge goal for the team is to beat Monrovia during the upcoming season while also advancing into the CIF playoffs. Qualification for playoffs is determined by league results and in the Rio Hondo league, the team is ranked fourth out of the five teams based on last year’s performance.
“It always been one of the main goals to make it to CIF. Last year, we were close but we think this year there’s a good chance that we do,” Becerra said.
Both Becerra and Stirling agree that the team has grown increasingly closer, and that the bonds on and off the field will surely enhance their growth and improvement. The team dynamic has improved in recent years, with Becerra and Stirling both sure that this will be able to help all of the girls work together to accomplish their goals.
“We also hope to grow as individuals as much as players and create lasting friendships after the season is over,” Stirling said.