Squad ends on 4-game winning

Elijah Akhtarzad

Despite finishing the season with a four-game winning streak, the varsity softball team fell just short of CIF, ending Mission League play one game out of the top spot. The team’s final league record was 6-4 and its overall record was 10-12-1.

The team’s winning streak was highlighted by team captain Jessica Johnston ’14, who was named Athlete of the Month for May by the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, hitting the game winning RBI during the team’s 2-1 Senior Day victory over the Chaminade Eagles at the team’s home field, Birmingham High School, May 8.

“[Johnston] totally deserved [Athlete of the Month],” teammate Victoria Knight ’16 said. “She kicked it up a notch on Senior Day in her last league game, and she literally hit it out of the park.”

Johnston finished the season ranked fourth in the Mission League in batting average with a .474 average, third in runs scored with 22 and fifth in on base percentage with a .507 average. Johnston previously committed to play collegiate softball next spring at UC Santa Barbara.

First year varsity pitcher Hailey de la Vara ’17 also ranked in the top five for the Mission League in two categories at the end of the year, finishing fourth in ERA and second in wins with 10.

Along with de la Vara, the team has seven other freshmen returning next season, and after gaining experience this year, Knight said they are excited for the upcoming season, and feel they have the potential to do damage against Mission League opponents.

Players said the team’s season ending four-game winning streak could not have occured prior to the roster’s return to full strength with all four seniors taking the diamond. Recovering from injuries was a major theme throughout the team’s season, and players said they hope to experience better luck with injuries next year, allowing them to keep their best players on the field.

“At the beginning of this year we had a rough start with a lot of injuries, but at the end of the season, we came out really strong and hopefully next year, we can start out with as much fire as we ended with this season,” Knight said.