“One more, together.”
That is the Pasadena City College Women’s Softball team’s 2014 motto and end of practice reminder that each player is willing to give something extra for a team member, a concept imposed by new head coach Monica Tantlinger.
In less than a week the team will host Antelope Valley College in the 2014 season home opener. The Lancers finished off the 2013 season 15-25 overall and 7-14 in the South Coast Conference under coach Brittany Williams.
The new roster is composed of veterans from both the 2013 and 2012 seasons—including players who didn’t see much of the field, and new—young faces. The list may read as a mix of athletes who have yet to feel the pressure of collegiate level play, but add a strong, mature mindset and aggressiveness and it’s a recipe for success.
It especially helps to have key players returning like second baseman Audrey Serna, third baseman/ shortstop Katelyn Thordarson, and catcher Allie Lacey.
“There are some nerves but a lot of energy and excitement as well,” Lacey said. “A lot of girls have never played at this level of competition but I think that our team will be able to rally around each other and be ready for the challenge ahead.”
All-SCC second team selection Serna and All-SCC first team Thordarson led the team with batting averages of .408 and 26 RBI and .392 with 29 RBI, respectively, while being just as solid in the defense department. Lacey contributed with a .274 batting average, 20 RBI, and fielded a .926.
“Lacey is going to be our commander on the field in the catching position,” said Tantlinger. “She brings a consistency for us day in and day out in her approach with her work ethic and attitude, [while] her physical ability behind the plate will help to bring an ease to our pitching staff.”
Also returning for the 2014 season is first baseman Sara Quintero, right/left fielder Vanessa Contreras, shortstop Maddy Gianoli (2012), pitcher Casey Ramirez (2012), and infielder Viviana Ordaz (2012). Quintero, another all-around player, fielded .956 and batted a .284 with 24 RBIs in the 2013 season.
“We have been working hard in fixing all of the small things to make big things happen,” Serna said. “Coach Monica is helping our team blossom into a beautiful bouquet of flowers.”
New additions to the roster include freshman Breanna Rodrigo, who is emerging as top pick for the pitcher spot, and freshman Elizabeth Luna.
“We don’t have a returning pitcher from last year so their experiences are a bit limited,” said Tantlinger. “I don’t feel this will hurt us necessarily but it will challenge our offense to supply some run support. Overall we are looking forward to our season.”