California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Regals softball wins first SCIAC game against Occidental

%E2%80%9CIt%E2%80%99s+a+good+confidence+booster+for+our+team%2C%E2%80%9D+junior+infielder+Olivia+Vargas+said.+%E2%80%9CScoring+the+first+two+runs+in+that+first+inning%2C+I+got+a+hit+up+the+middle+and+Casey+brought+us+in.+It+just+sets+the+tone+when+you+score+first%2C+it+sends+a+message+to+the+other+team+that+we%E2%80%99re+ready+to+play.%E2%80%9D+
Charlie Johnson
“It’s a good confidence booster for our team,” junior infielder Olivia Vargas said. “Scoring the first two runs in that first inning, I got a hit up the middle and Casey brought us in. It just sets the tone when you score first, it sends a message to the other team that we’re ready to play.”

California Lutheran University Regals softball began their Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference season strong, with a 6-0 win over the Occidental Tigers on Friday, March 22. 

The game began with junior and pitcher Ashlyn Flinchum not allowing the Tigers to score any runs ending up with her second shutout of the season. 

Flinchum is new to Cal Lutheran Regals softball this year. Flinchum said she came as a transfer from Ventura College, where she was awarded multiple athletic accolades such as Ventura College Sports Hall of Fame Athlete of the Year. 

“As a newcomer, our team is really inviting, they’re so energetic,” Flinchum said. “I never had one moment that felt like I didn’t belong on the team, and that is the best thing I could ask for as a pitcher because I know they always got my back. You’re playing to play with everybody, not just yourself.” 

This season has not been strong for The Regals, with an overall record of 3-7 prior to Friday’s game. However, thanks to a lights-out pitching performance from Flinchum and an offensive show, the Regals brought it home with its fourth win of the season overall.

“Scoring in the first inning was just key for us today. We never were behind,” Regals Head Softball Coach Debby Day said. “That’s probably something we haven’t done consistently yet, score early, be able to add on and shut a team down at the same time.”

The other time in this season the Regals scored in the first inning while shutting down a team was in this season’s first home game against the Baldwin Wallace University Yellowjackets, on March 4.

Day said this win against Occidental was certainly a confidence booster, and also said the team still has some aspects to work on. 

“It’s obviously a great feeling, you know I just told them this is one of 21 right now,” Day said. “We are as strong as any team in our conference, and I think as long as we keep pushing ourselves every game and keep coming together as a team, keep getting to where we’re playing our best softball at the end of the season, I think we should get where we need to get.”

Day said the entire team is great, but wanted to highlight a couple of key players in Friday’s game, including Flinchum, junior infielder Olivia Vargas, and junior catcher Hanna Booth. Day praised both Vargas and Booth’s batting performance from the Friday afternoon game. 

“It’s a good confidence booster for our team,” Vargas said. “Scoring the first two runs in that first inning, I got a hit up the middle and Casey brought us in. It just sets the tone when you score first, it sends a message to the other team that we’re ready to play.” 

The Regals’ spirit and sense of community were highlighted by both Vargas and Flinchum after the game. Vargas accredited senior infielder Sachi Reyes for helping keep up the team spirit. 

“Our spirit in here is amazing, especially since we have Sachi,” Vargas said. “She’s a whole person full of energy, all the time, no matter what. If we’re down, she always finds a way to pick us up, she’s kind of in charge of the whole dugout and always gets us going. I’d say she plays a main part in our energy.”

The Regals are now 4-7, 1-0 in SCIAC and are scheduled to play against the Tigers who are 5-11, 0-1 again on Tuesday, March 26, in a doubleheader at Occidental College with the games scheduled for noon and 2 p.m.

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