7-1 Loss to Santa Barbara in Softball's Season Finale
The Santa Monica Corsairs lost at home during the final game of the season this Friday, April 20 to the Santa Barbara Vaqueros. The Corsairs sent off two sophomores, Ashley Sasso (#12) and Kylie Hernandez (#16) with the finish of this game, as they will transfer next year.
It was a fast start for the Vaqueros, as they picked up two runs in the first inning. The Vaqueros then grabbed one run each in the fourth and fifth innings. It wasn’t until the sixth that the Corsairs received their first and only run by Emma Soto (#80). With consistent pitching throughout by Taylor Liebesman (#23), the Vaqueros worked to get their runners started, but during the seventh inning, they got three more runs in and secured their victory.
Though it was a tough loss for the team after their win the day before against the Oxnard Condors, the Corsairs said they were proud of how far the team had come over the season. The team finished the season with an 8-21 record.
Vania Garcia (#18) is one of the freshman planning on coming back for the next season and was unphased by the loss as she saw her team work together. “I don’t see it as a loss, I see it as an opportunity to get better,” Garcia said. “I learned a lot from this team and I’m going to bring that in for next year.”
Emotions were high as the team shared their thoughts on the game, with assistant coach Sam Sheeley saying how much the team has grown. “We had a great group of girls play, we had some great performances, and the two sophomores stepped up and were able to finish strong, which was the best part,” Sheeley said.
Being the last game that Sasso will be playing with the team, she shared her feelings and where her mind was at. “It’s been kind of a roller coaster, it started off low in the beginning, but it picked up speed and now it’s all over,” Sasso said. “It’s been a good ride.”
Hernandez, another sophomore, finished the last game of competitive softball she’ll play, though she plans to come back and support the Corsairs from the stands. “I couldn’t have asked for anything better and it’s really bittersweet to go,” Hernandez said. “I’m happy that this is the team I finish out with.”
With the season over, plans to recruit new athletes over the summer will begin. Head coach Phillip Gomez came to the team when it consisted of two players and watched it fill before the season starts.
“Ending where we’re at now, we still have miles and miles to go, but we’re headed in the right direction, especially where it was coming from beforehand,” Gomez said. “We’re going to have a lot of sophomores returning and we’re going to have a lot of recruits coming in and the whole premise of next year is everyone is going to have to compete for a spot. It’s taking it to the next level.”