Softball: Freshman Bela Chauhan adapts to tougher varsity competition March 20, 2018 — by Krithi Sankar and Phoebe Wang Freshman steps up to fill in gaps created by graduating members of the softball team. Starting at age 8, much of Bela Chauhan’s freetime has revolved around playing softball, starting with her participation on the Los Gatos Magic recreational team. As she slowly progressed as a player, she joined other more competitive club softball teams, such as Campbell Crush and South Bay Quakes. Today, the freshman is a starting player for the varsity team, with second base and pitcher being her primary positions this year. Though they aren’t her usual position, Chauhan had to play these positions to compensate for the loss of seniors last year, such as last year’s star pitcher Rachel Davey, who is now in her freshman year at Emerson University. Even with these challenges, Chauhan believes the experience in high school softball so far has been rewarding and essential for her to adjust to a higher level of play. “It’s a bit of a step up playing with older girls, but it’s nice because I’m learning a lot from the more experienced players,” Chauhan said. As difficult as it has been to adjust to being on varsity, Chauhan said the biggest difference she has faced between club softball and high school softball has been the intensity and the number of practices and games. For high school, there are practices every day and roughly two to three games every week. On the other hand, her club South Bay Quakes normally holds a few practices every week with weekend tournaments every weekend. Chauhan anticipates a successful year due to the relentless work ethic of the team. “I think we’ve got a great group of players who work hard and play harder,” Chauhan said. “We are committed to giving our best, and having fun along the way.” Currently, the team has played no league games but had had three preseason games with a record of 1-1-1. The team will play their first two leagues games on March 20 and March 22.