By Jeanne Kim and Claire Alongi,
The Davis High softball team (3-3) took to the field with confidence and determination on Friday and this focus payed off: the Devils beat visiting American Canyon 6-4.
Whether it was their previous two game winning streak, or some determination innately theirs, it was clear the Devils meant business from the start. The Devils threw the opening American Canyon batter out at first, and wrapped up the top of the first inning with pitcher and senior Audrey Dufresne striking out American Canyon’s batter.
When Davis took to the plate, the intensity was no different. Junior Taylor Trinidad swung hard and earned herself a triple, and then shortly found herself scoring the first run of the evening when sophomore Maddie Tomasello hit her home. From there the rest of the inning was smooth sailing for the Devils, who scored three more runs, in part thanks to junior Claire Inouye who hit her first of two triples for the night.
Although the Lady Devils held their ground and prevented any runs during the second and third innings, they too struggled to make more batters cross home plate. As the top of the fourth inning rolled around, the game seemed as if it could swing either way as American Canyon scored two runs, but by the bottom half of the fourth, Davis secured its win with two additional runs to their four.
Davis cemented their win in the top of the seventh, when sophomore Brittany Steenbergen subbed in for Dufresne on the mound. With one batter already out, Steenbergen proceeded to strike out the next two at bats in quick succession to thunderous cheers from her teammates and Davis spectators.
Though admittedly nervous, Steenbergen stepped up to the challenge.
“I knew [American Canyon] wouldn’t be used to my pitching because they had been hitting off of Audrey the whole game, so I had an advantage there. I knew I had to get the job done so I had to throw some of my best pitches. When I’m nervous I have to do my best to suppress that and only think about the pitch I’m about to throw so that’s what I did,” Steenbergen said.
Now with another win under its belt, the young team, made up of two seniors, eight juniors, seven sophomores and one freshman, is showing promise for the season ahead.
“The girls played great today. They came out with great energy, they were focused, we hit the ball really well early, we got a good lead, and as the game got closer, they really battled and did what they had to do to finish,” first year head coach Lyn Christopulos said.
Although many of the players on the varsity softball team this year are new to the team and have never played with one another prior to this season, junior Evelyn Andrews believes that there is a certain chemistry holding them together.
“All of us have come together so quickly and just instantly clicked. Some of us have played together but there are still many who haven’t and that transition has been so easy and that is because I have a team filled with 17 other girls that are just truly good people with fun personalities, good hearts and drive for hard work,” Andrews said.
Christopulos believes that the team has the drive and the positive energy that a team should have, and has no doubt that there will be many more great games this season.
“This group has incredibly good chemistry. They play for one another and when one makes a mistake they can’t wait to go out there and pick that girl up, and it’s rare that you get a group that is so cohesive and so respectful of each other and enjoy each other early in the year like this, but they’re already there. So that is a big part of why we are so excited for the future,” Christopulos said.
Inouye could not agree more about the team spirit her teammates brought to the field.
“We have been working hard since day one and all the girls on this team have heart and work their hardest every day they are on the field.They are some of the hardest working girls I have ever met and I have faith that we can go really far this season,” Inouye said.
Dufresne also trusts in the skill and connection of the team. She had only one quick and enthusiastic response when considering goals for the season: “To win!”