The softball team is looking to turn around its dismal 2-10 record from last season and finish first in Rio Hondo League this year. However, the squad has had a slow start to its preseason, already beginning with two losses. In its game against Heritage Christian, a team which the Tigers defeated last year, mercied them by a wide margin. This early struggle is largely due to the late arrival of new coach Kayla Moore, delaying the start of scheduled practices. Other than this, the team roster has remained mostly the same from the previous season. Two of the strongest players on the team last year, pitcher Cassie Baca and catcher Alexis Shettleroe graduated last year, leaving the positions to new faces. Their replacements, junior Adriana Ramirez and freshman Catherine Connolly, have shown promise, but are struggling to develop consistency and a cohesive bond in the two games. The rest of the team is made up of returning starters, including seniors Alex Mendez, Sheridan Nansen, Jocelyn Arellano, and Avery Douglas.
“We’re close and have good communication but it’s definitely been difficult having started so late in the season due to not having a coach,” said Mendez. “We should have started practicing much earlier and I think that puts us behind a lot of these teams. Regardless we’re on a good path and I think all we can do is get better before the league season starts.”
The lack of time at practice is evident in the team’s play, which has shown the girls’ aptitude for the game, but is riddled with errors. On defense, players have dropped balls and hesitated to get runners out and on offense, they have often failed to get runners in scoring position all the way back for important runs. However, several of the plays the team has made are evidence of a strong team in development.
“We need to work on cleaning up our plays on defense and getting hits when we go up to bat,” said Connolly. “We’ve been working hard at practice, especially because we missed some time without a coach, and we’re constantly improving.”
Already two games into the preseason, the team plays its next game on Wednesday, March 9, with hopes of coming out with its first win. The league season begins on Friday, March 18 with the squad’s first game at home against Temple City.