Softball team shows uptick of improvement in loss
In the midst of a shellacking, the Quincy High School softball team suddenly started to show a pulse.
Down 16-0 to Cascade after two innings on March 22, the team regrouped enough to allow only one more run the rest of the way, and snapping the shutout with two runs of its own.
Then, on March 25, the pulse sounded stronger, with the team coming close to a come-from-behind win against Wahluke.
The visiting Warriors took the game 8-7, but the Lady Jacks put on a performance that was almost night-and-day from their loss to the Kodiaks.
“I think there were a lot of nerves involved in that Cascade game,” head softball coach Pauline Baughman said. “Getting that out of the way really helped them be able to perform.”
Against the Kodiaks, Quincy fielded a group of girls that had never played varsity before, so everything was new.
“By the time they got to the third inning, they settled in a little bit, but by then, the damage had already been done,” she said.
Baughman points to a defensive change as a key for the Lady Jacks. Before the third inning, Giselle Hernandez went to third baseman. Rosie Combs went to first, and freshman Luciana Morales took over behind the plate.
Those changes carried over to the Wahluke game, with Morales making a big difference as backstop.
“She’s working really hard behind the plate to prove that she wants that spot,” Baughman said.
The team’s improvement from the first game to the second game was amazing, Baughman said, considering that they have had a total of six days of practices outside, including a single day of practicing with live pitching, after the winter snowfall melted.
“Until we get the reps we need, we are going to have to keep building, every single day,” Baughman said, adding that the team will also need to work on its chatter, the cheers and encouragement players give teammates from the dugout.
Next up, the Lady Jacks will face Cashmere on Thursday, a doubleheader on the road starting at 3 p.m. The team then travels to Toppenish on April 6 for another doubleheader.
The Cashmere doubleheader will be the Lady Jacks’ first of the season, another lesson for a young squad: learning how to get amped for a game, play it, and then get amped back right after, regardless of result, Baughman said.
The Toppenish doubleheader is the league-opener for the Lady Jacks, and expectations will be high, Baughman said.
“My desire will be to come out of that game on April 6 and know ‘This is us,’” Baughman said.
In other softball news, the JV team showed some grit, defeating Wahluke in a nail-biter of its own, 14-13. Patty Guerrero, a freshman, had a three-run triple in the victory.
By Sebastian Moraga, email@example.com