Sophmores lead playoff push for softball team

Dan Nelson and Dan Nelson

Consistency is something last season’s softball team lacked and consistency is what they’re striving towards with a brand new field and seven sophomore players.

Head coach Paula Congleton hopes to thrive in a conference that they finished fourth in last season. She hopes to do so with only 13 players on the roster.

“We only have 13 players, but the 13 players that we have are strong fundamentally,” said Congleton. “They’re working hard everyday and they’re dedicated to the program.”

The Vaqueros missed last year’s playoffs and want to utilize the returning experience to teach the fresh crop of young women how to get there this year.

“We have a lot of really good new girls coming in this year and they have a lot of individual talents that they’re going to be able to bring to the table,” said returning sophomore Nicole Adair. “I think we’re going to be pretty good.”

Adair is pulling double duty this semester since the roster is so slim. She will be adding pitcher to her resume along side outfielder.

Also returning is sophomore Kailey Snyder, the only natural pitcher on this year’s roster. She looks to try and carry the team this season.

“I’m going to try and bring leadership to the team just since I’m a sophomore,” said Snyder. “I feel like it’s my responsibility to bring together everybody.”

The Cannon twins, Joan and Laura, or as Congleton refers to them as “T-1” and “T-2,” are hoping to pick up where they left off last season as sophomores.

Joan Cannon, “T-1,” is coming off a first-team All-Western State Conference Gold Division season. She hopes to teach the use of effort throughout the entire game, which is something the team lacked last season.

“We’ve learned to play every game to it’s fullest potential,” Joan Cannon said. “Sometimes we just slacked off and we should have gone at it harder from the beginning.”

Laura Cannon, “T-2,” enjoyed a stellar season last year as well. She had a .304 batting average with a team-best 30 runs, but expresses the same concerns of complacency.

“We need to come out strong and play the whole game,” Laura Cannon said. “Just don’t play down to teams because we did that last year.”

City College is trying to learn from last season’s mistakes instead of trying to shake them off completely.

“I think we can take the experience we got from last year,” Snyder said. “Our team was so young last year and we have so many returners from last year that we’ll know what to expect from other teams and how to play and then how much we’ll want it this year.”

The Vaqueros will play host to Bakersfield at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday Feb. 17 at Pershing Park.