Softball falls in 2nd round, coach resigns

After forcing a three-way tie with Alemany and Chaminade for the Mission League title, the softball team moved on to playoffs.

The Wolverines  were knocked out in the second round of playoffs in a 3-2 loss against Colton last Tuesday, May 21 .

Despite tallying at least six runs in each of the last five games, the softball bats struggled against Colton, only accumulating four hits and two runs.

Even though the offense was stagnant for the majority of the league title-clinching win over Alemany, the softball team found the ability to flip the  switch late, scoring five runs in the fifth inning to rally for a 6-5 victory.

“It’s hard walking off the field knowing that you, as a team, could have done better,” Jessica Johnston ’14 said. “It’s kind of relieving to know that Colton didn’t really beat us, we beat ourselves. The talent was all there, the focus just wasn’t.”

Maddy Kaplan ’14, along with Chloe Pendergast ’13, carried the starting pitching this year, accumulating eight total wins this season.

Kaplan served as a closer in the final game.

“It’s hard to be disappointed with the result when you know you gave it your all, and I truly believe that we did,” Kaplan said. “Sometimes things just don’t go your way, and you just have to move on and try to learn from your losses.”

Corner infielder Theo Miesse ’13, catcher Tate Castro ’13, pitcher Chloe Pendergast ’13 and second-baseman Ashley Wu ’13 all played their last high school game on Tuesday.

“The team was pretty quiet since it was the last game for the seniors and sentimental,” Wu said. “We’ve grown together and learned to play with each other over the years, and that has made our experience all the more meaningful.”

Starting catcher Molly Steinberg ’14 feels the loss of her senior teammates.

“They were very fun and outgoing. They all brought something to the team with their different personalities,” Steinberg said. “We are also losing the leaders of our team for the 2013 season.”

Head Coach Joe Aranda, along with his seniors, also participated in his last high school softball game as the head coach for the Wolverines.

Aranda resigned on Thursday, ending his 15-year stint as the team’s varsity head coach.

“I have enjoyed being a member of the Harvard-Westlake community,
Aranda said in a press release. “This was not an easy decision for me because I’ve enjoyed working with the girls through the years. Ultimately, I want to spend more time with my family and that is what matters most to me.”

Johnston said she will miss her coach as she plays her senior season.

“Joe was a really passionate coach who did everything in his power to motivate the girls,” she said. “You could tell he really cared about each and every individual and that was really his magic.”