Softball: Trailblazers look to turn things around

Jermaine Johnson II

Golden West earns second win of season after defeating Woodlake 11-1

WOODLAKE – Spring sports last year scored the short end of the stick. Softball teams were just a few games into their season before a year long hiatus of high school sports. Now teams are back on the diamond and Golden West has already matched their win total from last year.

The Trailblazers have struggled in recent years, with their last winning season coming in 2014. Last year they were 2-7 before their season was cut short, but last Wednesday they earned their second win in six games after a 11-1 victory over Woodlake. They went scoreless in the first inning before scoring four runs in the second, three in the third, and four in the fourth.

Their first win was a 14-7 victory over Exeter in their fourth game of the season.

With only two seniors, Golden West fields a young, inexperienced squad. As they play out their remaining 16 games, they have a chance to finish above .500 for the first time in seven seasons. If not, next year they’ll likely be bringing back a bulk of their team who will have the necessary experience to help the program get back on track.

“I do believe we have the talent to compete, it’s just a matter of getting the kids to play together and at their potential. We’re getting there,” head coach Rod Schonbachler said.

Last year’s canceled season put a bit of a damper on the future of the program, since middle schoolers didn’t have a season. Schonbachler thinks that likely led to only three freshmen joining the team this year, and there is no junior varsity program for the first time in the program’s history. That could also be a result of the multiple sports happening at once during the spring season.

As for Woodlake, they’ve also struggled in recent years. Neither team receives a lot of travel ball players, so they rely heavily on the spring season to coach up their girls. Woodlake hasn’t had a winning season since 2012 and finished last year 3-6. According to Woodlake assistant coach Henry Santa Cruz, his team is still dusting off the cobwebs and opened the season against a strong Exeter team. They are 0-2 and play again tomorrow at 4 p.m. as they host the Fresno Warriors.

Golden West will travel to Garces Memorial this afternoon at 4 p.m.

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