Softball begins season, faces challenges early on

March 20, 2009 — by Pia Mishra and Ren Norris

Just improve, winning is a bonus. That’s the message coaches are relaying to a softball team trying to rebound from losing many key players to graduation. Recent results indicate the team will have to work hard for every win.

They lost their first game to Monta Vista 4-12 on Feb 24. The girls redeemed themselves the next day, however, by defeating Prospect 14-4. Their first win of the season was shortly followed by a loss to Willow Glen 4-8 on March 11. The team also played a nail-biting game against Silver Creek, which ended in a 2-3 loss for the Falcons. Their streak of bad luck continued when they suffered a disappointing 9-13 loss to Cupertino on March 18.

“We tried hard in all of our games, but sometimes it just doesn’t go our way,” said sophomore right fielder and catcher Whitney Hansen.

The team has a new coach this year, Ray Sisco, who hopes to bring improvement to all of the players. He recognizes the tough competition in the El Camino League and has set the goal of winning at least half of their games. This would be an improvement as the softball team has struggled to win games in the past few years.

“I’m lucky to be coaching such a great group of girls,” said Sisco. “They have already improved dramatically this season.”

Even with a new head coach, the team faces many challenges this season. Not only has injuries and poor weather plagued the team, but the loss of many starters from last year to graduation has left the team in a challenging position.

After the completion of the basketball season, several freshman basketball players came out for the softball teams, allowing them to field two complete squads. However, some juniors are on JV as a result of the low turnout of younger girls.

“There just isn’t as much interest in softball anymore,” said assistant coach and alumnus Katie Reed, “and we’ve had to fill positions left by really good seniors who graduated last year.”

“We have had really good hitting so far and have never been out of a game, even if we were down in the score,” said Reed.

Despite a few losses, the girls are confident in their teamwork and feel like they will lead a successful season.

“We really seem to have it together even after losing a lot of our key players last year,” said senior shortstop Laura Ruddy, “and so far this season is looking good.”

Even though the team is looking to games, the focus is on developing each individual player and growing as a team.

“We will have a good season as long as we keep playing well,” said Reed, “but the main goal is to improve, not to win.”

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