A softball player prepares her stance during practice (Daniela Sanchez/Lariat)
Saddleback College is now nearing the end of the semester. Following that will be the holidays, the time that students enjoy spending time with friends and families. Some students are excited for something else, for this Winter comes a new season of women’s softball. January is the month that the Gauchos hit the field.
Catch up on the new softball season in 2018. Gauchos have 18 home games planned amongst 14 other colleges. The women’s softball team is in a conference league with Golden West College, Santiago Canyon College, Fullerton College, Santa Ana College, Riverside College, Orange Coast College and Cypress College. Regionals will be on May 4 and 5.
Coach Nick Trani will be leading the women to play next season. Home games are set for the month of January and the first two weeks of February. The first game is on Jan 29. against Pasadena College at 5 p.m.. Nevertheless, the team is short on players this next upcoming season.
“We’ve made regional 15 times we were strong in the past, it may be a stretch for this year,” Trani said.
He says that many of his previous team members have transferred to other schools, so he is left with two returners. He says that it is irregular to only have two returners. There are more new players this year.
They are some who are experienced in softball while he has added some people new to softball.They don’t have experienced players so he wants more people to join, preferably players who are experienced. He wants people who are really good at softball. He said that some of the girls are burned out from practice.
Team member and communications major, Haleigh Wilkerson,19, comes to the field early for before practice starts. She reports that she and her teammates are sore from the weight room.
“Just getting work done now so we can play later basically,” Wilkerson said.
Her analogy of working hard to play hard is referring to the muscle training that she and the Gauchos are going through currently. They are strengthening certain areas to help them with their softball needs. During the season next spring semester, the team will not use the weight room in order to avoid getting injuries during their plays.
“We can’t afford any injuries because we don’t have any depth,” Trani said.
The coach does admit that the benefits of having a small team is that everybody gets to play. Pitchers have to adapt to play in other positions. The players are becoming more versatile this way.
The Gauchos softball team has been training since the first day of the 2017 fall semester, according to softball player, Haley Rose, 20, undecided.
“We’ve had a lot of players graduated last year so we’ve kinda had to start over as a team but I think we’ve been doing pretty well so far,” Rose said.
Trani said that he will not truly know how the season will play out until January. The team is still in need of experienced players to join. Currently the team is mixed with inexperienced players. Although, the women say that they have developed a dynamic amongst each other. They will have to readjust their rhythm every time they receive a new member.
The location of the tournament is still to be decided. However, the State Championship will be taking place on Mar 17-20 at Mt. San Antonio College.