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Eye of the Tiger

SOFTBALL: Varsity girls look to repeat last year’s success

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(GEORGE HUGHES/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(GEORGE HUGHES/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(GEORGE HUGHES/EYE OF THE TIGER)

DOMINIC TAYLOR

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After a 2-2 preseason start, and with league play beginning next week, the varsity softball team looks to capitalize on last season’s success this year.

The Tigers ended last season with a 21-8-1 record, a Capital Valley Conference league championship and a playoff berth where they advanced to the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs. With over half the team returning as juniors and seniors, this skilled and eager team knows how to win.

The girls plan to use last season’s success and postseason experience to return to the accolades of last year, and maybe even improve on them.

“We are all really excited about this season,” junior second-baseman Karli Dugger said. “We all want to do what we did last year, which is win league. We hope to improve from last year and get even farther in playoffs.”

However, no success is attained without practice. The team started training and preparing for the upcoming season as far back as the beginning of this school year.

The girls played together in the fall and most of them play on year-round travel teams, so Dugger is confident in their ability to do well against this year’s competition.

Last year, Roseville, Bella Vista, and Del Campo were the top teams in the CVC and it looks to be the same this year, with both rival powers returning lots of talent. If the Tigers want to have success this year, beating these teams at least once or twice when they play is a must.

Despite the challenging schedule ahead of them, with another offseason under their belts, this year’s Roseville team should be a force to be reckoned with, especially considering the fact that the Tigers are returning six of their top ten players in every statistical category, including offensive weapon senior Anna Ostrom, who topped the charts in batting, fielding and baserunning last season.

In addition to their effective offense, the Tiger defense is one of the main reasons they had so much success last year, allowing more than two runs only four times out of their 21 wins, thanks in-part to returning pitcher senior Megan Anderson. Anderson, who recently committed to Lewis and Clark University to play softball, had 159 strikeouts last season, and opponents had a batting average of .191 against her. Anderson cites an entire team effort to the success of last season and believes that this year’s team is even better than before.

“I feel that we aren’t going to have a specific player stand out among the rest, because we all have talents individually,” Anderson said. “Whether it be having the most hits in one game but then having a great defensive performance the next game; it just depends honestly.”

Anderson believes the focus of this year’s team is going to be strong and fueled by a desire to repeat last year’s league title.

“I know for sure we are a very determined team,” Anderson said. “We want to win and repeat as league champs; we want to win that championship and hold that championship ring.”

The Tigers prepared for their first showdowns of the year with the best experience possible: live games.

“We had some scrimmages we worked in and we worked on the short game because teams like Rocklin and Del Oro like to small ball, as well as seeing some live pitching because it had been a while,” Dugger said. “We are just continuing to practice hard and look forward to the future games.”

After losing the season opener to Del Oro 10-0 without Anderson, Roseville turned it around and beat last year’s section champion, Rocklin, 7-4 in the second game of the year. The girls then went on to take a 8-0 loss to Sheldon but bounced back with a 12-2 win over Rio Linda.

They take on the Bear River Bruins this afternoon at home at 4 p.m.

 

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