Softball: Porterville Panthers get first win of season

Jermaine Johnson II

Porterville defeats CVC, improve to 1-3 on season

PORTERVILLE – The Panthers were 5-0 last year before the season was canceled. This year’s start was not as strong as they began with three straight losses, but they got back on track on Thursday, April 15, in a 9-1 win at Central Valley Christian.

With just two seniors, Porterville’s team looks entirely different this year. Put a bunch of girls together from various travel ball teams and you have this year’s Panther squad. Due to the irregular preseason, it has taken the team some time to gel together which led to the 0-3 start. Now that they’re a few weeks into the season, things are coming together.

The Panthers and Cavaliers were tied after the first inning, and it was all Porterville from there. They scored one run in the second and exploded for six runs in the third inning to go up 8-1. Things were quiet from there as they scored one in the eighth to close out CVC.

Another thing that has helped the Panthers this year is having their basketball and soccer players earlier than usual. Typically those players miss the beginning of the softball season due to playoffs in the other sports and they don’t make it to softball until league. Now they’re playing the entire season, which has brought an added element of leadership to the team.

Head coach Jennifer Schoonover is in her fourth season with the team, meaning that every player in the Porterville softball program began with her as their head coach. She considers that to be the biggest strength of the team this year since the program has shuffled through various coaches over the last several years and the players haven’t had much consistency.

As for CVC, they also have just one win on the season to go along with two losses. They are fielding a young roster this year, but have found a stud in junior Megan Staton. She transferred from El Diamante last year and was ineligible to play prior to the season’s cancellation. She has been a force on the mound this year and threw 17 strikeouts with just three hits and no runs in their win against Corcoran on Wednesday, April 14.

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