CAC Softball: Swinging into Season


Isabel Gallo

To end the 2018-2019 season, Central Arizona’s softball team was only six outs away from advancing to the NJCAA College World Series. With a tough ending to a successful season, the Vaqueras are back with vengeance and a larger roster.

This season, the roster consists of twenty-one talented players, ten of which are returners. Although last year’s team was mainly from out-of-state, this season, thirteen of the Vaqueras are from all over Arizona. Of those thirteen, four freshmen, Alaina Gonzales, Amaya Dasti, Angelina Reyes and Kirsta Wright, are locals from Casa Grande. Besides the in-state athletes, six more are from various parts of Southern California, one is from New Mexico and one is from Las Vegas, Nevada.

With teammates from all over the Southwest, Central’s softball team is considered to be a small family. When asked what is most enjoyable about being a part of Central’s softball team, sophomore infielder from New Mexico, Michaela Kittredge, says, “I know the girls would always have my back no matter what, which makes me feel so comfortable since I’m so far away from home. It’s nice that I have my softball family to count on.”

The Vaqueras cultivate this “family” aspect because every girl lives on campus, making it easier for all of them to mesh together. Sarah Norton, freshman pitcher, states, “Playing on this team, I automatically gain twenty new sisters.” Norton explains that the team pushes tables together in the cafeteria, “We eat every meal together; there’s no better way to get to know people.” The team is planning to carry their off-the-field chemistry onto the field for the upcoming 2020 season.

This fall, the Vaqueras were given the opportunity to face a few of the top Division 1 schools in the country: Grand Canyon University, Arizona State University and University of Arizona. The battle between Central and ASU is the most memorable for the team because Central had a 2-0 lead on the Sun Devils until the fifth inning. In every game, the girls put up a good fight and gave all three Division 1 schools a run for their money.

These athletes express their excitement for the upcoming season. Returning third baseman, Nicol Ley, says, “If we can bring the passion and game play our team possessed during the Division 1 games, we won’t have a problem beating teams during the spring season.”

All the girls are most excited about spending long days down at the field in an effort to advance to nationals in May. “We are trying to get them to compete and get better every day – that’s the message right now,” says Assistant Coach Ryan Henley. “The returners remember what it feels like to be six outs away from going to the World Series, so I think that has definitely added fuel to the fire.”

The season is right around the corner for this year’s Central Arizona softball team. Be sure to come out and support the Vaqueras starting in February.