Softball looks to build on historic season

First baseman Sara Moore, #15, whacks a single up the middle to drive in an RBI against Rio Hondo on Feb. 12, 2014. Moore is batting .600 with 11 RBIs and two home runs in the six games the Owls have played. (Dillon Cooper / Citrus College Clarion)

Last year’s softball season saw the Owls lose a heartbreaker to Santiago Canyon in the Super Regionals.  The Owls finished the 2013 season 26-14, 14-4. Reaching the Super Regionals was their best finish to a season in program history.

With five returning players, the Owls are looking to build on last year’s success.

“We know we can get that far, this year it’s not even a question,” sophomore pitcher Arianna Sanchez said.  “We are going to get back there.”

Sophomore infielder, Sara Moore, hit .424 last year, good enough for second best for the Owls, with five home runs and 42 RBIs.  “It was a definite blow because we made history, and we had a good group of girls,” Moore said. “Now that most of them are gone, we are going to try and keep it going.”

Sanchez was dominant on the hill last year, winning 16 of her 28 starts.  She was pegged with nine losses and had three no decisions.  Sanchez struck out 79 batters in 33 appearances.

With eight freshmen coming into the squad, lack of college level playing experience is always a worry. But with the additions of pitcher Miranda Gil and infielder Erin Jaramillo, who were both rewarded with first team honors in their respective high school leagues, perhaps inexperience won’t be a factor.

Jaramillo said the transition from the high school level to the college level is a lot different. “Everything is faster.  Girls are bigger and hitting balls harder.”

Jaramillo, the third baseman for the Owls, said she is enjoying the challenge the hot spot presents.  “You see balls come off the bat faster.  It’s a little more intimidating but it’s a challenge.  It helps you step up your game.”

Entering her tenth season as head coach, Jackie Boxley likes what she sees so far in the beginning of the season.

“We’re just fired up.  They’re playing hard and doing the right things,” Boxley said.

The Owls are currently 5-1 so far in non-conference play, dropping their only game at Fullerton 11-8.

“Last year our team did a lot of special things and the sophomore’s don’t want to let that slide,” Boxley said.  “They want to get out there and get to the same spot they got to last year.  They really want to win our conference this year.”

You can catch the Owls’ next home game Feb. 27 at 2:30 p.m. as they host Cypress College at the softball diamond.