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Coyote Softball positioned for Another Successful Year

 

Becoming a perennial power doesn’t have to take long. Just ask the Weatherford College Coyotes softball team.

2018 Softball imageIn the few short years they have been in existence they’ve already qualified for a Junior College Softball World Series and annually contend for the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference championship. In fact, they are the defending champions.

And with five starters and a host of solid newcomers, head coach Haylee Williams is optimistic that tradition will continue in 2018. Having only been the head coach since 2013 (she was an assistant for the first two years of the program), she will enter the season with 199 victories.

“I think we are very well-rounded this year and very strong defensively everywhere on the diamond,” she said. “We have the fastest team we probably have ever had with speed throughout the lineup. I think we will be able to hit for a good team average and handle the bat well to move runners and utilize our speed on the base paths.”

Returning as starters for the Coyotes, who were 46-11 overall and 27-5 in the conference last season, are Kristeny Magallanes at third base (all-conference, all-region), right-handed pitcher Katy Simon, Francine Garcia at first base (all-conference, all-region), middle infielder Kalina Sato and leftfielder Mikala Douglas.

Garcia is the top returning hitter, having posted a .374 average last season with 64 hits, 18 doubles and 46 RBI. Magallanes belted eight home runs and three triples, and Douglas stole nine bases.

Simon was 12-3 with a 2.80 ERA, 63 strikeouts and 37 walks in 110 innings.

Top newcomers include shortstop Eliza Eberhard (Sugar Land), centerfielder Marisa Cruz (San Angelo), catcher Analiese Galdeano (San Antonio) and right-handed pitcher Casson Rasmussen (Scotts Valley, California).

And, as usual, the conference and region will be tough, Williams said.

“The region will be tough 1-9 again and come down to the wire,” she said. “Everyone in this conference has good pitching and hitters that are tough to get out. The top spots are usually only separated by a game or two, which makes every game important.”

Williams said the tradition established in such a short time does indeed play a role in her team’s success.

“I think that we go into every year expecting to be competitive and demanding that from our players. Every team has different strengths and weaknesses, but you can always preach fire and competitiveness, and this team has really bought into that,” she said. “The returners from last year have been good leaders in the ways we want our program to run and what we expect from each player and the team as a whole.

“We try to stress that when you put on that Weatherford College uniform you always get every team’s best effort and outing because everyone wants to beat us so badly. Because of that we emphasize no matter who we are playing we cannot take an at-bat or pitch off.”

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by Rick Mauch