The softball team at California Baptist University started the season on a high note Jan.30, winning their season-opening double header against California State University, San Marcos, 16-3, 8-0.
Last season, the team finished the season 42-11 overall, with a conference record of 25-6 and an appearance in the NCAA conference tournament.
Already this season, accolades have been awarded to two standout players. Kayla Hatch, senior kinesiology major and pitcher, and Tayler Castro, senior kinesiology major and outfielder, were named to the Preseason All-Pacwest Team prior to the team’s home openers. Both Hatch and Castro are two key returners to the 2016 season.
Bill Baber, head coach of the softball team, said he believes his team is well-prepared and anticipates a successful season.
“I feel good; we have had some really good practices,” Baber said. “They have been working hard with their strength and conditioning. We are really excited for this season to start; it can’t come fast enough.”
Hard work and dedication are not the only things needed for a successful team, but one of the most important things is chemistry. Hatch said the team has the most chemistry she has seen in her four years at CBU.
“I would say this year has the best team chemistry,” Hatch said. “We get along on and off the field, and I think that is why we got off to such a good start this Saturday.”
Another thing different about this team is the number of starting freshmen. Though it may be nerve-racking to make the switch to college field, the freshmen class has shown great talent and has fit right into the team.
“I’m really excited for this year; we have a lot of talent on this team,” Baber said. “And this team, especially the seniors, have worked very hard to make sure this team gels together.”
No matter how long she has been on the Lancer field, every team member has shown her dedication through commitment to one another.
“All 21 of the women are dedicated and are reminded every practice to be proud of the field they play on,” Baber said.
With such a fantastic start, the women said they are feeling the excitement to take on their next opponent. The team traveled to Las Vegas Feb. 4, where they competed in five games.