With multiple rain outs and a flu bug going around school, the Wilcox Chargers’ softball squad has been unable to come out swinging the way they had hoped to start the season. Wilcox won their opening game over Los Altos 4-3 on Feb. 27, but dropped Wednesday’s game 11-7 against Westmont before falling 14-2 against Hillsdale. In Friday’s home loss to the Fighting Knights, the Chargers were without the services of starters Deena Pederson and Carina Parra, due to the flu.
“This is definitely the best pitching we’ve seen thus far this season,” remarked Chargers Head Coach Laura Stott-Hardesty after Friday’s loss to Hillsdale. “We had two starters out today so we had to move some things around in the field and Hillsdale is a phenomenal team. They hit the ball hard and found holes again and again and again. I mean their eight hitter hit a grand slam and their nine hitter followed it up with a solo homer to center? That’s good hitting.”
Wilcox hung tough with Hillsdale early in this one. Trailing just 2-0 after two innings of defense, the Chargers cut the lead in half during the bottom of the second, using a nice variety of offense. Junior catcher Adriana Martinez worked a leadoff walk. Fellow junior Ashley Jaramillo then came in as a special courtesy runner and promptly stole second base before being knocked home by a two-out RBI double by sophomore Ameryss Meza.
The following inning is when the Fighting Knights exploded for an eight-run rally including the back-to-back homers. After the game, coach Stott-Hardesty focused on the brightside with her team despite the 14-2 final score.
“One of my positives for them was that even though we got hit hard for a few innings in a row, we came out the last inning and didn’t give up any runs. Our message this season is that we have to get better every day. I told them I don’t care about the score on the scoreboard, I care about the fundamentals, being a good teammate and working hard. If we do the little things, the big things will take care of themselves.”
One of the Chargers’ players who is helping lead by example this season is Martinez, batting cleanup and catching just like Buster Posey does for the San Francisco Giants.
“I think as a team we have to do better at driving runs home when we get people on base,” remarked Martinez after Friday’s game. “Those are key situations that will help us stay in ball games.”
Wilcox is hoping they can crank up the offense quickly as they will have five games this upcoming week: March 12, March 14, March 16 and a double header on St. Patrick’s Day. This heavy stretch of games leads up to their league season opener on March 19 when the Chargers travel to Homestead to take on the Mustangs.