Time to play ball

Time to play ball

Junior Dominique Bocanegra takes batting practice after the Silverswords’ first doubleheader of the season.

The Chaminade softball team hit off its season on Fri., Feb. 3. The Silverswords’ first game, which was a doubleheader against Pacific Lutheran University. They lost the season opener 9-1 but bounced back and won 6-5.

“We are excited to get started,” coach Kent Yamaguchi said. “We are ready to play someone different, someone that is not wearing the same uniform as we do.”

In order to get ready for their season, the Silverswords have been working hard. Co-captain Letisha Vaba, a junior who just transferred to the Silverswords, mentioned that they have been practicing hard with a few days off. In order to get fit for their season, they have been doing conditioning and in their free time they work with weights. Yamaguchi also mentioned that in order to keep up their game, they have been pushing and scrimmaging against each other. The team and the coaches have been working hard together in order to be ready for this season.

This year is a new start for the softball team. Yamaguchi mentioned that last year, seven seniors graduated. However, seniors Dawn Dela Cruz (outfield) and Shalin Yamaguchi (catcher), junior Kori Berinobis (infield), and sophomore Theresa Capllonch (outfield), are back and have raised their level of play.

Then there are two players that transferred here to help right away, juniors Rayna Strom-Okimoto (infield), and Latisha Vaba (infield). The team also has a bunch of talented freshmen that are athletic. One of them is Elia Lizarraga (infield) who will give Chaminade some exciting times.

Yamaguchi likes to tell his players to focus on the journey, and as a team, it should try to get better in every game and every day. Especially since the conference that it is in just got tougher with the addition of California Baptist University.

“It is a tough conference,” Yamaguchi said. “So we don’t want too look too far ahead. We want to take it a game at a time.”

Co-captains Vaba and Cruz are looking forward to the season and especially the first game. They feel that this year team has potential to make it far. One of the goals Vaba is working toward to this season is to get into the playoffs.

“Turns the negatives into positives, and take it day-by-day and game-by-game and work hard,” Vaba said.

This is Cruz’s last season. She wants to make it better than the previous season when they were 14-36 and make a name for the Chaminade softball team. She said that it is possible with this year’s team because they came together as one.

“Go out with a bang,” said Cruz as her goal for the season.

The team is also looking forward to the 2012 Tournament of Champions, in Turlock, Calif., which is from the end of March to the beginning of April. The best of the west are playing there, stated Yamaguchi. It will be a fun time for the softball team.

The next game the team will play is against BYU-Hawaii at noon on Sat., Feb. 11.