California Lutheran University softball team is armed and ready to take on the 2018 season after just missing the post-season tournament last year and finishing fifth in the conference.
With a young group last year, the Regals will be returning most of their core group of players from last season, six of the twelve returners will be seniors and provide this team with strong leadership headed into the 2018 season.
“It’s really rewarding to have a group of six seniors who have been with me for four years, to see how much they’ve matured, both on the field and off the field,” said Softball Head Coach Debbie Day in a previous interview with clusports.com.
The Regals are coming into this season with high exactions for themselves looking to push themselves to achieve the goals the team is looking for this season.
“Every year, we strive to be one of the top four teams in our conference and earn a spot in the post season tournament. We believe that we can bring home a SCIAC championship and punch a ticket to regionals as well,” senior outfielder Jacy Watanabe said.
Watanabe started 34 games for the Regals in her junior season and posted a .295 batting average with 28 hits and also had a nine-game hit streak. She was also perfect in centerfield with 48 putouts and two assists.
She leads a senior class full of talent, including new freshman and transfers that the Regals will look to lean on to make a strong impact in their first seasons with the Cal Lutheran softball team.
“The motto for this season is to get better each day, whether it be at practice or a game. We have been emphasizing the importance of reflecting on the good things we do while also learning from our mistakes to improve,” freshman pitcher and outfielder Sienna Perez said.
For this team, chemistry will play a huge role in the success of the team and how far they will go this upcoming season.
“This team can be silly and have a good time, but we also know when it is time to focus. Every player has a role on this team, regardless of age or position. Our team has so much talent that we can rely on anybody to come through with a big hit or a big play,” Watanabe said.
The Regals started their 2018 campaign against Pacific Lutheran in a double header on Feb. 3 and were able to sweep the series winning the first game 2-0 and the second game 6-1.
From there the Regals headed south to San Diego where they split the series 1-1 against St. Katherine’s and now on the early part of the season the Regals record is 3-1 and they currently have a .349 slugging percentage and a .311 on base percentage.
“A big part of our success comes from our ability to pick each other up. Errors are a part of the game and they are going to happen, but what’s most important is how we are able to pick each other up and come back,” Watanabe said.
The Regals will be back on the diamond Saturday Feb. 17 where they will travel to battle Pomona-Pitzer in a conference matchup.