Softball Struggles in Season-Opener

With the new era of SMC women's softball having finally begun, the Lady Corsairs were unable to start the year off as they had hoped, struggling in a season-opening loss to the College of the Canyons' Cougars.

The Corsairs battled valiantly, but some key mental mistakes coupled with the Cougars' relentless offensive attack proved to be too much for SMC as they fell by a score of 26-0.

The Lady Corsairs' emotions were running high, as the team displayed signs of nervousness and excitement while playing their first softball game at SMC in almost three years. The ladies prepped themselves and tried to shake off the butterflies by encouraging each other and trying to stay focused no matter the outcome.

While the Lady Corsairs were just beginning their season, the Cougars had already been tested in six games prior to this match-up. That experience of the Lady Cougars was evident throughout the entire game, as they used their savvy to stifle the SMC softball team.

Corsair Pitcher Alice Coleman started and finished the game for SMC, as she pitched all seven innings because teammate Jamie Kenyon was unable to pitch due to a recent surgery she had undergone.

Coleman, a 2-time St. Monica High School all-star, began the game throwing very hard as she notched some early strikeouts, but the Cougars quickly got their timing down and started tacking on one run after another.

The College of the Canyons would do a majority of their damage during the second inning, as the Cougars belted 1 homerun and 3 triples, stretching their lead to 13-0.

SMC tried their hardest to prevent College of the Canyons from scoring runs at such a high clip, but the Cougars' quickness on the base paths just wouldn't allow the Lady Corsairs to catch their breath.

Corsair shortstop and catcher, Rosie Magallon, along with outfielders Sharese Arzu and Samantha Bozek made a couple of dazzling plays on defense to prevent runs from scoring, but the Cougars just wouldn't be denied as they continued to force their will on Santa Monica.

Cougar pitcher Ashley Imperial starred for the College of the Canyons, as her baffling "below the knee" pitching motion made it nearly impossible for the Lady Corsair hitters to recognize and hit her pitches. SMC's inability to adjust to Imperial's style of pitching throughout the entire contest, led to the Cougar pitcher shutting out the Lady Corsairs for all 7 innings.

On the offensive side of the ball, Cougar batter Ruby Herrera belted the only homerun of the ball game, as she played a major role in amassing all 26 runs for the Cougars.

Despite the tough loss, first-year head coach Michelle Haines, has tremendous faith that the team will learn and grow from this experience.

"I was very proud that the girls never gave up, they have spirit and picked each other back up. We know what to build on and we'll work together to do it," said Haines. "We didn't have any experience as a team, so it only makes us stronger."

This Tuesday, the Lady Corsairs play Glendale Community College in a Double Header at Clover Park at 1:00pm and 3:00pm.