Season cut short after weak finish

Saba Nia

Despite aiming for higher results, the girls’ varsity softball team finished its run at CIF Playoffs with a loss to Templeton in the quarter-finals Thursday, but secured a 7-1 league record and became Mission League Champions.

“I’m really proud of our team this season,” outfielder Lauren Witmer ’19 said. “I think in this [Templeton] game especially, and in all of our games, we’ve been fighting until the finish. And I’m disappointed that the season’s over, but we kept on going throughout this game, pitch by pitch, and it just wasn’t the outcome we wanted.”

Both players and softball program head Brittany Moeai said they hoped to get further at CIFs than the team had last year, which also reached quarter-finals. Despite not accomplishing their goal of being CIF champions, players said the coaches helped them strengthen their individual skills and fostered a more unified team dynamic.

“I think because they’re fresh out of the game it really helps us trust them as coaches, and not just look at them as our coaches, but as players as well knowing that they were in this position not too long ago,” pitcher and infielder Kinly McCaffrey ’18 said.

The team, which is comprised of only 16 players, credited their success to the close bonds players established between one another. Though some players were relatively new to softball, McCaffrey said that by the end of the season every player was committed to the sport.

“What I love about playing at Harvard-Westlake is that all of our sports are taken very seriously and it’s not something that people just do like completely for P.E. credit,” McCaffrey said. “I mean, there are some people who do need the credit that take softball, but they end up falling in love with the sport. And I feel like Harvard-Westlake kind of does that to you.”

Players said that they are looking forward to continuing the progress made this season.

“We have another year under our belt and we’re really close,” Witmer said. “Next year we just have to work on it. You know that’s really it. We’ve got a really strong foundation to build up from that we set this year, last year and the year before; I think we’ll just build it up again. We’ll be fine. It’ll be a good year next year.”