California Baptist University’s softball team anticipated their opening day for months. Their hard work paid off after the Lancers grabbed their first two wins of the season against California State University at San Bernardino on Feb. 4.
“We were excited to finally play somebody,” said head coach Bill Baber. “The women were prepared and they worked really hard going into today.”
The months of hard work shown in the first inning when Ashley DeVaere, senior criminal justice major and second baseman, slammed her first home run of the season out of the park, putting the team on the board and earning an RBI.
The Lancers had some difficulty adjusting to the pitches from Cal State San Bernardino, but ultimately found their success through teamwork.
“Some women struggled at the bat, but the people behind got the hits. We play off that,” Baber said. “A mistake is all right, someone else will pick it up. That’s where we are most successful.”
The team did, in fact, pick each other up as the night went on. Tayler Castro, junior kinesiology major and outfielder, was also able to pick up an RBI.
In the first game of the doubleheader against CSUSB, the team struggled to get hits until the third inning, but second game told a different story.
“We just have to hit a little better when we get runners on base,” Baber said of game one. “We look at what we did do well and didn’t do well, and try to get better.”
The Lancers improved in the second game, taking an early lead and putting more runs on board, proving they had grown used to the pitching strategy of the other team. The Coyotes ultimately fell to the Lancers 2-0 in the first game and 6-2 in the second.
Baber said even with the wins, the team still has a long way to go to reach its No. 1 goal: to get to the World Series. But Baber said the team must first stay focused on smaller tasks.
The smaller goals include winning the PacWest, hosting the regional championships and ultimately heading to Oklahoma City to bring home a World Series title.
“Oklahoma City is our goal, and that is where we want to end our last game,” Baber said.
After beating Cal State San Bernardino, the softball team went on the road to Arizona for the NFCA Division II Leadoff Classic Invite, where they won two out of three games played. They also played five different schools in the Desert Stinger Tournament in Las Vegas, Feb. 13-14, and won four out of five games. Their record is 9-3.