California Baptist University women’s softball traveled to Texas over the weekend of Feb. 8-10 to compete in the Aggie Classic tournament. This was the team’s first time being eligible to compete in the tournament, as well as its first time playing as a Division I team.
CBU left the tournament with one win and four losses. Although results were not what the Lancers said they had hoped for, the team is regarding this as a learning experience to prepare for the rest of the season.
Deanna Alarcon, junior marketing major and infielder, said the tournament, which included the University of North Texas, the University of Northern Colorado and Texas A&M University, was an eye-opener.
“We definitely expected to play better,” Alarcon said. “This weekend was a huge learning experience. DI is a whole other level. It’s like grind, grind, grind, and you have to be ready.”
Alarcon said the team was encouraged by Bill Baber, head coach of softball, to play as one.
“Our coach really emphasized that it is going to take all of us, all 24 of us, to be successful this season,” Alarcon said.
Brittany Galvez, junior kinesiology major playing third base, said she is ready to continue focusing on the rest of this season.
“Our approaches for game days have always been the same: Go hard every pitch and win every inning. No matter who is in the other dugout, it’s the same game we have been playing,” Galvez said. “We have a long season ahead and we’ve been making some adjustments and are ready to come out and make a name for ourselves in DI and the WAC.”
As one of the upperclassmen, Anise Avalos, senior psychology major and shortstop, said she is ready to continue with her leadership role and to encourage her teammates.
“I have to stay composed and focused on our goal of the season and that’s to win a conference title,” Avalos said. “When this season gets tiring, it’s my job to remind everyone what the goal is.”
Avalos said she views the weekend as a valuable endeavor and is ready for the next game. As soon as the team returned Monday morning, the team began practice that same afternoon to prepare for its home opener, Feb. 18, against Fresno State University.
“The losses just make us more hungry for another opportunity to play and show everyone of what we’re capable,” Avalos said. “The approach for this next game is just to play hard and not worry about the opponent. If we stay within our game we will play great CBU softball.”
CBU picked up an impressive 8-0 victory over Fresno State University scoring eight of its runs within the first three innings and allowing only one hit for the Bulldogs.
“To come home after a tough weekend and to come out, lead off the game with a home run, feels pretty good,” Baber said. “I know the players are really happy right now.”