Softball: Team reflects on strengths and rallies back for CCS

May 2, 2014 — by Gitika Nalwa and Vibha Seshadri
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The softball team is currently tied for second in the De Anza league, with a league record of 5-2 and an overall record of 12-8. With CCS starting on on May 21, the team has begun preparations, working specifically on its defense. 
The last month has been a rocky one. The team won 10-0 against Monta Vista on April 4 and lost 5-1 against Milpitas on April 15 and 6-5 to Los Altos on April 16. More recently, the team competed in the Santa Teresa tournament during the weekend of April 26. 
“The Santa Teresa tournament was an intense tournament,” senior third baseman and shortstop Mandy Lee said. “All of the teams either won their league or made it far in CCS last year and were invited to play in the tournament.” 
The team had a mix of wins and losses at the tournament. The team lost against San Benito (9-5) and Santa Teresa (2-0). The team beat Hillsdale (1-0) and Soquel (1-0).
“I think that we learned [at the tournament] that we are good enough to compete with any team out there, but we need to score runs and play good defense in order to win,” Mandy Lee said.
Mandy Lee is confident that, with this ethic, the team can go very far in CCS. She also believes that there is “a lot of talent on [the] team.”
Key players on the team include Lee, sophomore shortstop Eleni Spirakis, senior pitcher Hera Tang and senior outfielders Nicole Grabar and Lois Om.
“A lot of recognition goes out to Lois [Om] and Nicole [Grabar] for stepping and filling positions [in the game against Monta Vista],” Mandy Lee said. “They have made some really big plays when we have needed them.”
According to sophomore Ellie Lee, who plays catcher, outfielder and third baseman, teamwork is a strength, as shown in its sweeping win against Monta Vista on April 4.
“As a team, we really held it together,” Ellie Lee said. “We were in a good rhythm and we really dialed in the game.”
She also believes that the bond between the players contributes to how well the players work with one another.
“Being a freshman on varsity last year made me feel a lot younger,” Ellie Lee said. “But now that I’m not, I'm starting to bond with the team much better and I don’t really feel the age difference anymore.”
Mandy Lee attributes the team's win against Monta Vista to good hitting, as many hits brought in runs or put batters on base. Most notable was senior outfielder Tivoli Sisco, who hit a home run. 
“Everybody contributed on the offensive side of the ball and we also got things done on defense,” Mandy Lee said. “We didn't make errors and we really supported the pitcher.”
Soon after, the team had its losses to Milpitas and Los Altos. But according to Ellie Lee, these outcomes are just minor setbacks.
“We just need to keep our heads in it,” Ellie Lee said. “I think that once we get behind, we just need to know how to rally and come back. If we are set on winning, then I don’t think we have a chance of losing.”