In its preseason, girls’ softball faced its most challenging opponents. Currently, the team’s record is 1-7. Though their preseason has not been ideal, the girls have been playing against division one, two and three teams, while Samo is ranked in division four.
“So far, I think there have only been two teams that have more talent than us, but they just make fewer mistakes,” Coach Debbie Skaggs said.
The team played in a tournament on Friday, Mar. 16, in which they won one game and lost one. One of their starting pitchers, sophomore Frankie Milan, had to leave on Friday to catch a red-eye flight to Florida, missing the rest of the tournament. After a long weekend with little sleep, Milan returned for the game against Downey on Tuesday Mar. 20, going directly from the airport to Memorial Park to pitch the entire game. Samo lost to Downey 7-2. According to Skaggs, this unfortunate loss was a result of too many small errors.
“We’re hitting the ball,” Milan said. “Things will go our way once we execute the simple things.”
From the start of the preseason, Skaggs has encouraged her team to perfect their fundamental skills. According to Skaggs, all of the team’s games so far have been against experienced and older teams, who aren’t making the same basic errors that Samo still struggles with.
“It makes a huge difference that there aren’t a lot of older girls,” junior Rachel Paris said. “We’re not getting the results we had hoped for, but it’s definitely hard competition.”
The team only has one senior this season, captain Kelly Ricard. Skaggs said that the starting line-up includes four freshman and two sophomores, which is a large amount of underclassmen to be starting at the varsity level. However, Skaggs believes that through this early exposure at the varsity level the girls and the team will only become stronger.
“A lot of the ninth graders are learning on the floor right now,” Skaggs said. “We moved them up and we’re trying to season them.”
According to sophomore pitcher Frankie Milan, some of the most challenging positions, like pitcher, are held solely by underclassmen.
“Our main pitchers are all underclassmen, but once we get more experience we’re bound to be dynamite,” sophomore pitcher Milan said. Aside from the fact that the team is quite young, some players have noticed certain patterns in their play that they still hoping to improve on.
“We consistently play really well, and then we have one bad inning where we give up a lot of runs,” Paris said. “After that, it’s hard to fight back.”
Though the team played skilled teams in their preseason, the competition level will not be as high when they enter league play. Their first league game is Monday, Mar. 26 against Inglewood High School.
“League is not that challenging, so we need to be sure we don’t drop down to their level,” junior outfielder Jennifer Eyler said.