Returning players key to stronger season for Hawks

The Cosumnes River College softball team hopes to go one step further than last year and make it to the regional playoffs.

This season, the team has eight returning players, and that’s one thing Head Coach Kristy Schroeder thinks will make a difference from last season.

“We had a lot of returners,” Schroeder said. “Last year we had a team full of freshmen.”

Schroeder said that with more sophomores on the team, they’ll know what to expect and go into the season stronger.

The team played some games in the Fall as usual, Schroeder said. During that time, the team lost three players, slimming the roster down to “a good, solid 13,” she said.

“We’re looking forward to seeing what we’re capable of achieving,” Schroeder said.

Gabby Magana, sophomore utility player, said that preparing for the season involved getting in shape and more scrimmages.

“My expectations are to come together through the season,” Magana said. She followed by saying the team “lost a lot of players,” and that she wants those remaining to work well as a team.

Practice is a large part of getting a team to work together to prepare for a new season, and you only get out of it what you put in.

Magana said that her coach tells her to “practice like you’re playing a game because if you practice at 100 percent, you’ll play at 100 percent.”

Freshman pitcher Jessica Venturelli’s personal motto is to have confidence.

Her expectations for the team reflected that, as she said she wants the team to “win every game and get to regionals.”

Leading up to the season, Venturelli said the team prepared by “practicing pretty much every day, staying after and getting extra hitting in.”

It’s easy for a team to lose motivation when you’re practicing day in and day out before the season even starts, but Schroeder said there isn’t a lot to keeping the team motivated.

“It is a long season,” Schroeder said. “[The team] gets along well. Team dynamic is a big part. They want to come and they want to play.”

While Schroeder couldn’t come up with a motto or phrase the team could use to define themselves, she said that presence is a big part of what the team is. She explained presence as being energetic, “hustling onto the field, talking [the games] up,” and making quick adjustments when needed.

This season’s team also benefits from a newly renovated field, and Schroeder hopes that it will bring with it a new tide of student support.

“I’m looking forward to the season starting Friday,” Schroeder said to conclude the interview.

The team’s first home game is a doubleheader against Lassen Community College starting at noon on Feb. 2.