By Jonathan Bechtol
The City College women’s softball team has endured some tough seasons recently. With a combined record of 3-32 in conference play since 2009 the program is searching for answers.
The team has been practicing for a month at Fairmont Field in Pacifica and the players’ chemistry is budding nicely as their spring season approaches.
Of the 13 players on the roster, only one returns from last year’s team: Yennifer Mendoza, the team’s starting pitcher, who has asserted herself as a leader.
“I have to be a leader on this team and I’m trying to do that, leading by example,” Mendoza said. “As a pitcher, everyone is relying on you. I like the aspect of the position where I’m in control and can put my team in a good position.”
Head coach Jack McGuire said that inexperience is the team’s weakness.
“There are four players who have never played organized softball in their lives and others who haven’t played in years,” said McGuire. “The focus is on getting better with every day, every practice.”
Although only four players on the current roster were in the softball class last semester, the team has still found a way to fill out its 13-player roster through recruiting and getting the word out. The team will add another player next week.
Freshman Camille Bustos hasn’t played organized softball in a year and she’s missed the game since her time off.
“I really enjoy the game, the feeling of getting a hit and running the bases, it’s great,” Bustos said. “Our team has a really good bond, too. It’s fun.”
Helping head coach McGuire are assistant coaches Mike Uland, Jimmy Collins, Scott Peradatto, Coleen McGuire and Jack Wolf.
On Jan. 28 the team played in a double-header exhibition game against Mendocino College. The Rams lost both games, 3-12 and 4-12. The team shined at moments, nevertheless both games ended early in the 5th inning because of the 8-run mercy rule.
Natalie Viola hit the team’s first home run, a 2-run shot into center field. Jamie Hom batted 4-6, adding 2 RBIs and a steal while Mendoza hit 2-4 with a walk and two RBIs in the double-header.
Mendoza shrugged off the exhibition losses and was upbeat about her team.
“We have talent,” she said, “it’s a matter of putting it together for the regular season where I think we can be a solid team. I love the team.”
The team has eight more exhibition games before league play begins with a road game on Feb. 21 at Chabot College. The Rams play their first regular season home game at Fairmont Field against Ohlone College on Feb. 23 at 1pm.