The Renegade Rip

Softball team readies for start of season

Elias C. Ahumada

Elias C. Ahumada

Former star player Christie Hill is the new softball coach.

Daniel Ojeda, Sports Editor

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With the softball season fast approaching, the BC softball team is looking to rebound from a disastrous 2013 season that saw the Renegades finish with an overall record of 7-31.

The Renegades lost 12 of the first 13 games to start the season and would never recover finishing sixth in the division.

But the start of the new season wipes the slate clean and gives the Renegades a chance at a fresh start. It also gives new head coach and former standout player Christie Hill a chance to leave a mark on the team and help guide BC back to the playoffs.
Hill might be the most qualified coach the softball team has had in years, Hill was a four-time all-conference player at Cal State Bakersfield and holds multiple career and single-season records.

The new season has BC opening on the road and the former BC and CSUB standout understands the importance of starting the season off on the right foot.

“The team struggled at the beginning of last season and we have to just be able to play successfully on the road,” said Hill.

With a new coach there can sometimes be a learning period between the players or the players can be hesitant about being able to trust their new coach. Luckily, Hill hasn’t encountered that problem with her current group of softball players.

“They’re buying into my system, the hesitation has gone away and the trust factor is now there. That makes it much easier.”

With a freshman dominated roster last season, the team might not have had the leadership or vocal leader that was needed during the rough patches throughout the season. This season Hill is looking at some of the returning sophomores to provide some of the leadership that was lacking for the Renegades.

Alex Avila is one of the returning sophomores and will hold down center field. Last season Avila finished with the highest batting average on the team hitting .396, she has been picked to anchor the hardest position in the outfield, center field, while also helping the freshman get ready for the rigors of college ball. Vanessa Moralez will return as the starting catcher, she finished tied for first on the team with six homeruns and is someone that isn’t hesitant about being a vocal leader.

Hill and the team are both focused on trying to improve in all aspects of the game. They have been conditioning two days a week while also working on their fielding. These winter practices help the team build chemistry and give the players an idea on what their roles will be once the season starts.

But there is one thing that Hill notices about this group of players compared to last seasons.

“I have a bunch of players that are here for the team not themselves; they want to help each other. It’s awesome,” said Hill.

Hill has a modest goal of finishing better than last season and finishing with a record of at least .500. But she does have some higher expectations such as winning a conference title and qualifying for the state tournament.

With less than two months to go before BC’s first pitch against Fresno City College, the Renegades have plenty of time to settle position battles and figure out who’s hitting where.

But for Hill one thing is for sure, she’s excited to be back in Bakersfield.

“Its home, I was born and raised in Delano. I’m really excited to be back where I played and was just excited to be back here.”

The softball team will open the new season on the road against Fresno City College on Jan. 29.

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Softball team readies for start of season