UC Softball Team Works Hard To Succeed in Tougher League and Division


Kate Wiggins

Sophomore JaLisa Morrow swings at the pitch.

Audrey Continelli, Staff Writer

   The UC High Girls Softball Team has experienced changes in the team composition and is working together to compete in a new, tougher division.   

   “We have moved up from Division III to Division II and in League from Eastern League to Western League. This will be a challenge, but I think we will be competitive,” said Varsity Softball Coach Michael Roberts.

     Roberts said, “Due to the change in both Division and League, the competition will be tougher.”

   “I think this year will be better than last year, because we get along better than we did last year, so we will work together instead of individually,” said Senior Captain Leilani Duarte. “This season we are in a more difficult league, but we have a very strong Senior Class this year,” added Junior Outfielder Erin Gillum.

   According to a website that compiles statistics, the UC High Softball Team has won nine games and has lost six games so far this season (maxpreps.com).

   Gillum said, “Our rival is Christian High School. We beat them five times last season, but they beat us in the semi-finals of CIF last year.”

   “We want to have a winning record and play deep into the playoffs,” said Roberts.

   The UC High Softball Team is predicted to be fourth seed in the playoffs (maxpreps.com).

  The team’s batting average is a .340, their on-base percentage is an average of .419, and their average fielding percentage is .940 (maxpreps.com).

   Roberts said, “The new assistant coaches are doing great. Both have a wealth of knowledge of the game and interact well with the players.  One coach was our JV Girls coach last year and coaches at the travel level. The other was a Division I College softball player, and also coached basketball at UC High this year. Both bring new ideas and valuable knowledge to the coaching staff.”

     Duarte said, “This year is different from past years when I played at UC High, because we have more girls that play club ball than we have had in the past, so they know the different situations better.”

   Roberts said, “We lost two players from last year, but we picked up two young players with lots of potential.”

  Gillum said, “Since we only lost one senior last year, there is not much of a change. The new freshmen this year are doing very well and hold key positions on the field.”

   “High school season is different, because you’re with your classmates/teammates all the time, every day, having two to three games a week. It is a lot busier, but personally, I think it is more fun, because you get to play with people that you are with a lot more, and it’s a great way to make new friends,” said Senior Captain Natalie Minteer.

   Minteer continued, “In travel ball, you see your teammates, who go to schools all over San Diego, two to three times a week, and just play games on the weekends.”

   Minteer said, “My favorite part about the season is the excitement of playing for my school. It is a lot different than playing club sports on the weekends.” She added, “High school is nice, because you make a lot of new friends, and you get weekends off.”

   Gillum said, “Practice is split up into hitting and fielding. We work on what we need to improve on from the past game and prepare for the upcoming game.”

   Minteer said, “The high school season has really helped me as a player, because I have to practice more; in travel I practiced, but only two to three times a week. During the high school season, I practice every day, getting a ton of reps in, and it has really built up my confidence as a player.”