Farmersville defeats Granite Hills 11-2 in their first league game to improve their record to 6-5
By Jermaine Johnson II
PORTERVILLE – In 2019 the Aztecs finished one game above .500, and now in 2020 they are in the same position after 11 games.
The beginning of the season did not go well for Farmersville. They started 2-4 but have won four of the last five games. They have had no issues scoring runs in most of their wins. In their six victories so far they have outscored their opponents 66-16. However, two of their losses have come by 10 runs and they gave up 13 runs in a home loss to Orange Cove.
The game against Granite Hills last Friday was another one of those large victories. They did so while missing four players due to illness: their starting catcher, third basemen, short stop, and backup pitcher. Other players stepped up and the Aztecs earned 12 hits from six different batters, with five of those batters earning at least two hits. Sophomore Leticia Poblete led the way with three hits and three runs. Freshman Brenda Mellado drew the start at pitcher and she was relieved by senior Sierra Gomez.
“Everybody stepped up in their new roles and some of them played roles that they’ve never played. The fact that they could come in and maintain for us means a lot,” assistant coach Albert Romero said. “The girls always have butterflies during the first game of league. It was a bit of a rough start but we were able to battle through.”
With a lot of the girls playing other sports, the team didn’t have much time to get ready for the season leading to early struggles. After graduating six seniors last year, the team is extremely young. Nine of the 14 players on the roster are sophomores along with one freshman, one junior and three seniors.
“I don’t think [losing the seniors] had much of an effect on us since there were only two starters,” Romero said. “In their second year, [the sophomores] are looking a little bit more confident than they did last year. They’re starting to come into their own and by next year I expect them to be a lot better.”
The backbone of the team this year will be a pair of four-year varsity players: Gomez and catcher Karen Oropeza.
“That senior duo is what’s going to lead us into the playoffs, they’re going to make or break us this year,” Romero said. “The supporting cast is great and I have a lot of utility players that can fill in those different positions.”
Romero is in his sixth season with the team along with head coach Effie Romero. They’ve made the playoffs every year and in their first season they made it to the Division VI valley title game but lost 10-0 to Orange Cove. They’ve had a first round exit every year since then, including last year when they lost at home 7-4 to Boron. Their next game will Wednesday, March 11 at Sierra Pacific.