The Columbia Basin College softball team has plenty of
reasons to be excited about opening its NWAACC East Region schedule.
(7-5) will begin regional play at home this afternoon against Blue
Mountain and Saturday against Treasure Valley. Though the Hawks lost
their last two games to Southwestern Oregon, which won the South Region
in 2012, they broke into the NWAACC coaches poll this week at No. 8.
Their preseason record is well ahead of last year’s 4-7-1 mark.
talk a lot about using our past failures to help us be successful,”
third-year head coach Adrian Ochoa said. “You can’t be successful unless
you fail. We’re taking the failures we had last year and using them as
learning tools and motivation to help us succeed this year.”
The Hawks went 6-22 last season in the East, but CBC is riding the strength of its Mid-Columbia recruiting this year.
product Bailey Walthers is batting .405 (15-for-37) with seven RBIs.
Walthers is the everyday third baseman, though she also can play
Ochoa has put Kendra Boehning (Chiawana) in right field and former Southridge outfielder Hannah Sams in left.
Gabby Meza has split time in the circle with Othello sophomore Brenda
Rodriguez. Meza enters regional play with a 4-0 record and 4.24 ERA in
Rodriguez (3-2, 26 IP, 8.34 ERA) is doing damage at
the plate along with former Huskies JoAnna Quezada and Miranda Martinez.
All three are hitting over .340.
Perhaps the biggest boost for
CBC came when former Kennewick outfielder Ashlen Ayres transferred from
North Idaho College. She leads the Hawks in batting average (.475), hits
(19), RBIs (11), home runs (2) and doubles (4).
“She’s playing at
a level we expected her to play,” said Ochoa, who coached Ayres in
travel ball. “Ashlen knows our coaching style, and it was just a great
fit for her.”
CBC has seven returning players, including former Richland standout Madison Chambers and Moses Lake’s Lacey Padilla.
year was a challenging year,” Ochoa said. “It was a tough year for our
kids who are now sophomores. They got a taste of what it’s like to go
through a tough year. They’ve matured a lot. They don’t want to go
through that again.”
Published with permission of the Tri-City Herald. Additional news stories can be accessed online at the Tri-City Herald
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