Varsity right fielder Leah Torres glances over at the pitcher from Monroe High School, making a last minute decision as to whether or not she should swing her bat. This was the Wolves season opener.
Varsity right fielder Leah Torres glances over at the pitcher from Monroe High School, making a last minute decision as to whether or not she should swing her bat. This was the Wolves’ season opener.

Trying to turn it around

After a winless last season, the softball team is focusing on communication and improving skills. It’s paid off with two wins.

The girls softball season was disappointing to say the least. 

Plagued with struggles, the girls had difficulty delivering quality performances. Of their 14 games played, the team lost 13 with four of them being forfeits. Their sole win against the Valley of Arts and Sciences Vipers was a forfeit in the Wolves’ favor. 

After a season like this, the girls must look past it and prove that they are a winning team. 

On Feb. 23, the Wolves faced off against the Monroe Vikings for their season opener. The previous year, Monroe narrowly took the game 14-13. This time, the Wolves turned it around and won 13-10. This victory was the first since their win against the Reseda Regents in 2022. 

“Last year it felt pretty bad going through a winless season because we tried our best in every game to have a positive mindset and to not give up and just quit during the game,” pitcher Angelina Volpe said. “Winning the first game of this season felt really good because last year we hadn’t won a single game. I think it was definitely a confidence booster for the team. That game really showed what our team can do when we are confident and ready.”

Head Coach William Cox has put in countless hours of his time into making sure he can lead his team to even more victories in the future. He puts effort into making sure his girls develop both as players and as people.

“Last year, we didn’t win any games, but they improved every single week,” Coach Cox said. “The games that stood out the most to me were the games against Panorama and against Reseda because the games were a lot closer. The girls played a lot better from when they played them earlier in the year, and you can see the improvement.”

Cox’s players have been working on every aspect of the sport, everything from skills to communication.

Despite starting off the season with a bang, the girls fell back down to earth in their game against the Vipers on Feb. 29. 

“The second game against VAAS, we did poorly both offensively and defensively,” Cox said. “I don’t think we had a good couple of practices leading up to the VAAS game. We had several girls not show up to practice and we have a different atmosphere. Not striving to continue to do better is the bad part.”

The team has put in plenty of work during the off-season, but some problems are still scattered about. 

“I wish we could do better on our communication,” team co-captain Margaret Mejia Perez said. “We’re making stupid plays and I know we can do better than that. I think we’re all nervous so we’re just not doing our best.”

As with every team sport, communication is vital to a winning team. No matter how good or bad a team is at communicating, they practice it day in and day out.

“In practice we’re trying to communicate more,” Perez says. “I tell them to call out more, I tell them to just talk because if we’re not talking then we just make the wrong plays.”

With 15 girls on the varsity roster and 19 on junior varsity, attendance is not an issue for the team. What is, however, is the lack of experience a majority of the girls have. 

“There’s a lot of work to be done, especially when not a lot of them have played before,” Cox went on to say.  

Some players also play other sports, which limits the amount of time they get to practice with the softball team.

“The biggest challenge I’ve faced this off-season is not having an off-season at all,” Volpe said. “This is because I was in season for basketball. I couldn’t show up to softball practice because of my other sport being in season and this caused me to not be as prepared as others.”

Even with Cox and his players coming to every practice and putting in the work they need to, the team does not get the support they need from the school.

“They don’t even take care of our field,” Perez said. “Our equipment is all old. It’s all from our own coach, who most of the time spends his own money to help us, which I find really unfair.”

Softball also has close to no support from the student body. 

“Many people don’t know when games are,” Volpe said. “What I want is to spread the word about games and the team in general to get people’s support.”

Looking forward to the end of the season, the girls aim to move past their shortcomings and become a winning program. Already having one win in the books, it seems like many more are soon to come from the Wolves’ softball team. 

The abridged version of this article appeared in the Spring 2024 print edition. This is an uncut version.

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About the Contributor
Rogers Levitt
Rogers Levitt, Staff
From playing Mozart’s sonatas on my upright Yamaha to watching a baseball soar into the bright day sky from my bat, I’ve always been driven to be the best. As a rookie journalist, I aspire to take my same dedication to become a noteworthy and dependable writer. With every story, I will report facts in an entertaining fashion with the hopes of drawing readers. When I am not honing my journalistic craft, I can be found at my piano, on the Van Nuys baseball field, or in my kitchen elevating my homemade ramen.
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