By Mark Seraydarian
For a team that is heavy with underclassmen after losing five graduating seniors, varsity softball head coach Terry Elledge had two words come to mind: young and inexperienced. Four freshmen and two sophomores start for the 2-5 Wolverines, along with three seniors (Julie Fernandez, Laurie Schleimer, and Stephanie Da Silva).
âWe see potential, we see some kids that played well last year that havenât quite gotten back to that level yet this year,â Elledge said. âWeâve always been a program where freshmen have come in and, if theyâre good, can jump right to the varsity, thatâs not unusual.â
Two weeks ago, the team competed against a squad from Dallas, Texas, and won 15-0.
âWe played well that day, all three pitchers threw well, we hit well, and when we do those things, even though weâre young, weâve had some moments where weâve played where I think we can eventually get,â Elledge said.
Part of the challenge for Elledge and the rest of the coaching staff will be to develop the girlsâ skills to allow for improvement.
âWe have really intense, although not long, practices trying to simulate game situations as much as we can, do live hitting when we can, do a lot of defensive situation work, to put them in pressure situations,â Elledge said. âAs long as they keep working hard, theyâll get better, I have no doubts in my mind that theyâll get better.â
The season is still young, but Elledge has noticed some early trends setting into place.
âOur team usually follows our pitchers,â he said. âIf our pitchers have a quality game, for some reason our offense usually steps up. If our pitcher is struggling, our offense hasnât been able to to, so far, allow the pitcher have a mediocre game but still score 8 or 9 runs and win a game 8-7, we donât tend to do that. We either win low scoring games, or we arenât winning.â
Last year, the team finished with a 7-3 Mission League record, good enough to qualify for CIF, where the girls lost in the second round.