By Haley Sawyer
South Pasadena Review
The South Pasadena High School softball team’s preseason was limited. In addition to struggling to create a physical and emotional team bond due to COVID-19 protocols, the Tigers could only play “friendlies,” hour-long games that anyone on the team can play in.
The friendlies were somewhat helpful, but South Pasadena is finally learning as they get a taste of real competition. Although the Tigers recently lost to San Marino, 6-2, in their second game of the season, the team sees the game as good for them.
“It was just very exciting to get the girls out, get some time, get some real competition and get those long innings, seven long innings,” said coach Ed McCarthy. “It’s so good to play games, and then now it’s something when you go back to practice, you know what to work on.”
The San Marino Titans (4-0 overall, 2-0 in Rio Hondo League) put up six runs by the fifth inning, then brought in junior pitcher Claire Streeter, who struck out six batters and gave up no base hits in three innings of relief.
“It was hard, but also I had the confidence from my last hit, so it was OK,” said South Pasadena sophomore Sydney Lagarce. “I mean, it was a little intimidating because she’s obviously really fast, but I was confident from my last at-bat, so I was OK [and] wasn’t too shaky.”
Lagarce was unable to get a hit off of Streeter, but went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run. She was one of multiple hitters on a young roster to produce offensively in the third inning.
San Marino put up a run in the first frame, while the Tigers (0-2 overall, 0-2 league) started out slow until they reached the third inning. Leadoff hitter Carissa Park, one of two seniors on the team, belted a double. Then, three batters later, Lagarce hit an RBI triple to send Park home.
“My first hit wasn’t awesome, but I had the confidence because I made the contact,” Lagarce said. “And the second time I went up, my confidence was super built up. So I was ready to hit off the pitcher.”
Lagarce scored the second run of the inning on a passed ball, but she wasn’t the only underclassman to have an impact against the Titans. Freshman pitcher Juliana Mostert threw a complete game and recorded two strikeouts.
“I think it’s really awesome because, I mean she’s played club, obviously, but just to be confident enough to play on varsity, pitch a whole game, it’s really awesome,” Lagarce said. “And she’s obviously talented.”
With two games under their belt, the Tigers are poised to grow as the season continues, starting with their next game against Temple City today at 3:30 p.m.
“A lot of the freshmen are in the fire, and we got a pitcher,” McCarthy said. “They’re in learning mode and to go, Hey, we’re still playing and the innings are long,’ it’s like something new to them and we’re all in a learning process at the same time.”