Softball team shows strength, stamina, support to earn second in district play

Underdogs are a part of what makes people love sports and this year, with a move to 6A, most teams found themselves in the underdog position. The softball team capitalized on their role as an underdog and showed the other teams what they were made of, earning second place in a highly competitive district before going on to be bi-district champions.

“Earning second place in district is a big accomplishment for us because nobody expected us to go that far,” senior Lisa Rodarte said. “Everybody expected us to lose. Everyone doubted us. We were the underdogs of the district.”

Head softball coach Enrique Luna agrees that the team met adversity head-on and showed everyone what they could accomplish as a team.

“Obviously, [getting second] wasn’t an easy task,” Luna said. “We went up [to 6A] and everybody wasn’t giving us a really good chance, but our kids did a great job of competing and it’s a really good milestone for us, and we’re excited.”

Senior Bri Garcia was frustrated by the way others saw the team before the season started and took it as a personal challenge to prove them wrong.

“I was a little mad just because people assumed that we were coming up from 5A and not on the same level as them,” Bri said. “We definitely were on their level. We beat the district champions, Cy Ranch.”

Though the team dropped a couple of games late in the season, they proved they could hang with the best teams with some dominant performances.

“We’ve had some big wins,” Luna said. “We unfortunately lost [the second game to Cy Ranch], but the first time we went to Cy Ranch, on the road, and we beat them, 5-1. We also got a big win against Bridgeland, which was a big moment for us, and we really get some big wins that we needed down the stretch.”

The team showed depth defensively throughout the season holding, opponents to low scoring games.

“Defensively, having Jessica on the mound pitching is one of our strengths,” Luna said, “but also defensively, we haven’t made a lot of errors this year. We’ve played really solid defense behind her when we needed to, and I think that’s been the key to success.”

For many of the players, softball is more than just a sport.

“The team is like a second family to me,” Lisa said. “They are like a home outside of a home. This team is where I come to have fun and be myself with no worries. Whenever I’m on the field, I can just do what I know how to do and feel comfortable.”

Other teammates agree and appreciate the lifelong bonds that were created on the field.

“This team means everything,” Bri said. “They are my family. They are my best friends. I couldn’t imagine doing this year without them.”

Above all, the team showed that they believed in themselves this season and performed at a high level during each game.

“We have heart, we have dedication, and we are determined to prove people wrong,” Lisa said. “Throughout the whole season, we had many opportunities to give up or feel bad about ourselves, but we came together as a team to work together and build off of that. We are able to stay mentally strong and show that in our performance on the field.”