HomeBlocksFront-GridSan Marino Softball Looks to Turn Fortunes Around in New Campaign

San Marino Softball Looks to Turn Fortunes Around in New Campaign

The softball season returns to San Marino High, and the Titans are looking to get the train back on the tracks after some rough going last season.

“We went 0-16 last year after going deep in CIF the year before,” San Marino coach Scott Edmonds said. “So we went from the top of the pile to the bottom of the pile. This year we are looking to go and be a .500 team.”

With opening day approaching, the third-year coach sees promise in his squad ahead of their first game on Feb. 27.

“The big thing really is I see that they are having a good time and girls need to feel good to play good,” Edmonds said. “We really focus on that a lot and we focus on fundamentals, so they are getting better. They are getting stronger. I think we look a lot better than we did last year, that is for sure.”

The Titans started ramping up for the season by hitting the weight room in the early mornings starting in late October. January saw the beginning of a throwing program and work on the fundamentals.

“Preparation is the key to everything,” Edmonds said.

The biggest issue last season was the pitching, according to the Titans manager.

“We were hurt last year the most by our pitching. Our pitching really, really suffered,” Edmonds said.

This year the Titans will be turning to freshman Vivienne Barcase hoping to correct that.

“She throws a lot of strikes. She’s got good control. She throws a little harder than the pitching from last year,” Edmonds said. “If she can keep it in the park, we’re going to be in good shape.”

The team will be captained by senior Sophia Bilvado, who plays mainly at catcher. The two-time all-league player comes into the season tied for the all-time home run record at the school.

“Had she chosen to play in college she could have been a Division I catcher. She is an outstanding catcher, but decided not to play in college,” Edmonds said. “She an elite-level catcher.”

Joining her older sister will be freshman Madeline Bilvado, who “is an elite-level shortstop.”

Additionally, the younger Bilvado may be called upon to pitch when necessary. Another newcomer to the infield will be freshman Sarah Esbenshade, who is “an outstanding second baseman.”

A fourth freshman will be joining the Titans and counted on to contribute immediately, as well as down the line.

“Mia Kelly has really stepped up,” Edmonds said. “She is a catcher and she’ll catch next year, but we’ve converted her over to third base for this season while Sophia is still here.”  

Among the returners is Titans junior Kayla Giddings, who will be key in helping to fuel the offense from the leadoff spot. The junior holds the school single-season stolen base record she set as a freshman.

“[She was] a four-sport athlete last year so we had her very limited,” Edmonds said. “She is coming back this year and I’m hoping she can spend a little more time with us this year because she is a huge offensive asset for us.”

Another returning bat in the offense is junior Alexandra Hughes, junior Elizabeth Esbenshade and sophomore Grecia Aguiar, who “has really stepped up in the offseason.”

Out in center field will be sophomore Lily Mata, fresh off playing for the basketball team.

“Big bat, super good, outstanding player,” Edmonds said. “She’ll get a Rio Hondo League award this year, I think. She’s pretty strong and a great kid, great in the dugout, a team leader.”

Sophomore Madison No, a standout player for this season’s Titans girls’ soccer team that reached the CIF quarterfinals, will also be in the mix.

“She’s a good bat and super fast, so she’s a good contact hitter who steals a lot of bases.”

The only other Titan senior is Nadia Escobar, who will be playing in the outfield, but also will be a key utility player who has experience playing all over the diamond, and “she hits the ball well,” the coach said.

A new player will be Zara Min, a transfer from Somalia.

“She’s kind of catching on to our system and how we do things,” Edmonds said. “She looks really, really good.”

When it comes to the Rio Hondo League, the Titans goals are clear-cut: an automatic berth into the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

“I’d like to come in third because we want to play in CIF. I think we have a good shot. We are a Division VI school this year,” said Edmonds, who thinks third in league will come down to his squad, Monrovia or South Pasadena, with Temple City and La Cañada taking the top two.

“I think we are right in the fight.”

First published in the Feb. 22 issue of the San Marino Tribune


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=3]