By Kevin Park & Jordan Xiao
Photos by Stephanie Kim
The varsity softball team finished the first week of its 2015 season with two well-fought games against Montebello and Heritage Christian on Monday and Thursday, March 2 and 5, respectively. The Tigers stand at 1-0 in league and 1-1 overall, with 16 more games to go between now and the season’s end in May.
The team’s season debut at Montebello began in the home team’s favor, as the Oilers put up three runs in the second inning and held a 5-1 lead by the end of the fourth. The Tigers rallied in the fifth and sixth innings to close the gap by three runs, but the seventh inning went scoreless to end the game at 5-4. Despite the loss, the South Pas girls set a strong precedent with their comeback effort, supplemented by defense that made only one error throughout the game.
“I think we fought a really good battle,”sophomore Emily Swanson said. “We need to work mainly on just communication and being more selective up at the plate.”
With the help of a shutdown defense and an aggressive offense, the Tigers fared more successfully in their first league game with a bounce back win at Heritage Christian. South Pas held the lead throughout the game, up 4-0 by the third and 7-0 by the top half of the sixth, until Heritage Christian put up their first two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Neither team scored in the seventh, and the game finished as a 7-2 win for South Pasadena.
“It’s really nice to be able to get our very first win in only the second game of the season,” senior pitcher Cassie Baca said. “We have a great group of girls and I have high expectations for this season.”
Under new head coach Marc Shettleroe, the Tigers have been practicing nearly every day in an effort to improve on last season’s 5-16 record. With four seniors, six juniors, three sophomores, and two freshmen on the varsity roster, the team hopes to capitalize on returning and fresh talent alike to strengthen its prospects this season.
The team’s next game is against the Pasadena Bulldogs on Monday, March 9, and will be the first home match of the season. Back-to-back games against Schurr and Pasadena Polytechnic will follow on Thursday and Friday that week.
“Next week will be a good test for the team, as we have three games against teams all ranked by the [Pasadena] Star News,” Baca said.