Softball team ends season in first round of playoffs, experiences ‘personal growth’


Photo credit: Courtesy of Kim Smith

Junior Kimberly Tuxpan and freshman Mikalya Weinhouse, Cristina Fuentes-Alva and Presley Sacavitch at a softball game on April 23 against Rolling Hills Prep. This year, the varsity softball team only made it to the first round of playoffs but according to junior Victoria Pinkett, throughout all of the challenges the team faced, they fed off of each other’s success to have a “good” season.

On April 18, with only a few minutes left in a game against Rolling Hills Prep, the varsity softball team was down four home runs. They had been losing the entire game.

But the team had not given up yet. During the last three innings, the Archer dugout became filled with “energy” and the teammates “rallied behind each other,” junior Victoria Pinkett said.

“I remember we were batting and in two outs, which is when you get a lot of hits in the two outs and you continue the innings. We were seeing people get hits and get triples and doubles even,” Pinkett said. “We weren’t really doing our best against the pitcher before this moment, and seeing them break through really powered the rest of team and pushed us all to do better.”

Archer won that game with a final score of 10-7. After a season full of challenges, the team only made it to the first round of playoffs, but junior Kimberly Tuxpan said the girls “played hard until the end.” According to four of the players, the team began the year with high expectations because they placed second in CIFS last year. But this season, players faced more “experienced” opponents because they advanced from Division 7 to Division 5. 

“It wasn’t that we didn’t play our best because I know we did,” Tuxpan said. “The other team was just good and more experienced. We didn’t know what to expect, but now we know what we can expect next year.”

Sophomore Kayla Gathers explained that the team has become more “comfortable” with each other and gained “confidence” and “focus.” Pinkett echoed these thoughts and said that the team still had a “pretty good” season despite the setbacks they experienced. One of these setbacks included not having a field on campus due to construction on campus. The field will be redone and replaced for the season next year.

“We had a lot of issues this season with like the coaches, especially with Coach Lennon not being here. We don’t have a field either,” Pinkett said. “We had a lot of freshmen, so it was a lot of just getting to know each other, which actually had a really good impact on our season. We will be a lot more prepared for next year when we have our field back…things are a lot more set for next season.”

Tuxpan commented on how having the field will help the team next year but also highlighted her growth.

“I definitely think that I had a lot of character growth this season,” Tuxpan said. “I think I approached my ability to improve differently this year, and I feel that now I have a different view on how attitude plays a role in being an athlete and team player. These things can also apply to life, which is why they’re so valuable. Mindset and attitude are huge in determining improvement.”

Even though they didn’t make it as far as they would have liked to, the team members are still “proud” of their accomplishments this season. Older players like senior Morgan Dennis said the freshmen or the “young talent” on the team “made a difference” this season. 

“At the end of the day it’s not about [the ranking],” senior Morgan Dennis said. “It’s about getting better as the year goes on and winning as a team. We had been improving each game, and I’m really proud of us.”