Friday at 1 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. They will finish off their last home games of the season honoring their seniors.
“Losing our seniors is really going to affect us next year. They are all such big players on our team. All three are starters and two of them are my captains,” said Tacy Duncan.
Duncan also went on to say that they have great girls coming up, but its hard to replace a senior who has played with you for four years with a freshman who may not be as strong yet.
Senior Day is a tradition that is held out to celebrate the years the team had with the Seniors. This year there are three seniors, all of whom played on the team all four years.
Priscilla Curiel, Jacquelyn Holtzclaw and Cassidy Lee have had an amazing season, and they have the records to prove it.
All three played a big part in their 6th place ranking in this week’s NCAA Regional Rankings.
The top eight in the West Region qualify for the NCAA Tournament according to the CSUSB Athletics.
Holtzclaw leads the Coyotes in hitting at .374, and Curiel owns the top slugging percentage on the club at .661 and leads in home runs for the team as well.
Lee is the pitcher and has pitched 108 innings, and has 83 strike outs.
“At the end of both games we have the parents escort the seniors on to the field, where we give them the gifts we have for them,” said Duncan. “This year we got them a blanket, picture frames and flowers. Then the announcer tells a little about each of their careers as a player.”
After the ceremony, the Athletic Director Kevin Hatcher comes and shakes the seniors hands, and than everyone at the game is invited to go to a big dinner in honor of the seniors.
These girls are dedicated to softball, but that doesn’t stop them from taking the time to help others.
The Lady Coyotes are hosting their annual Swing for Life campaign, an effort to raise awareness for breast cancer, this Saturday along with senior night.
They will have booths, and resources, and each player will be wearing a pink jersey in order to show support for the cause.
It’s easy to see that these girls are more than just teammates. As I interview the coach my attention is drawn over to the players, braiding each others hair while laughing and joking with each other, waiting for practice to start.
“There is no drama between these girls, they have team dinner before every game,” said Duncan.
After spending more than 23 hours with each other each week, it is almost impossible not to be close knit.
Their game days can go as long as eight and a half hours because every game day is a double header.
“Warm up is two hours, the games are an hour and thirty minutes in between. No other sports does that,” said Duncan.
The biggest games of the season are the ones against Humboldt State. They are going to be very competitive and extremely critical to their ranking.
“Their bats have been cold lately, but where they are lacking in hitting they make up for it with the pitching and defense,” said Duncan. “Our pitchers and catching has really stepped up sense our bats have been so cold lately”
Duncan went on to say that her team always pulls through.
Although losing seniors is a sad reality, they can’t be sad for very long. These next nine games are huge because the league is so competitive.
Duncan stated that the last four games can make or break you in the league because every team is so close in the standings.