Judging by its positive attitude, one would never guess the Truckee softball team endured such a rocky start.
After losing from last year’s team eight seniors to graduation, leaving the Wolverines with few returners, Truckee’s second-year head coach was asked by the school to step down several games into the season, while five players from the original roster quit.
That left the Truckee squad with a lineup full of underclassmen, mostly from junior varsity, with 16-year-old junior Diana Rosas as the elder statesman. The rest of the team are freshmen and sophomores.
Yet they remain upbeat, said new head coach Paul Szekely, who took over in mid March.
“We have about as young of a varsity team as we could put on a field. But they’re great,” Szekely said. “They’re good ballplayers, they have great enthusiasm and they’re always smiling and getting along. They’re a wonderful group of girls, and they have a great attitude.”
They can play, too, Szekely said, although they’ve had a rough go competing against junior- and senior-heavy teams from traditionally successful programs. The Wolverines are off to a 1-10 start overall, but they improve every day, Szekely said.
“They play well together and they have talent. They’re just young, that’s it,” he said.
Without junior left-hander Breanna Weber — the team’s ace pitcher last year and at the start of this season — sophomore Sylvia Soto has taken over as the No. 1 starter. Szekely said Soto has a good fastball, in the 60 mph range, as well as a few other pitches. Jana Venegras and Monse Islas, both sophomores, are also capable pitchers.
The batting order remains a work in progress as Szekely continues to learn about his young team. He said Karina Nienez, who catches and plays shortstop, is leadoff. Sure-handed first baseman Olivia Mousaw bats second and is followed by left fielder Addela Ortiz in the third slot, freshman shortstop and catcher Katie Fisher in the cleanup hole, and Rosas, a third baseman, batting fifth.
Soto, who’s been swinging a “hot bat” — and has some power behind it, along with Ortiz and Fisher, Szekely said — Venegras, Islas and Marisol Rocha round out the order. Other Wolverines on the roster include Taylor Pugh, Madison Haley, Erika Demyanento, Linda Mora, Josey Jallregui and Makenna Pulsen. Rosa and Fisher are team captains.
The Truckee squad is scheduled to host a Mount Rose League doubleheader against North Tahoe on Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Weather permitting, the games will be played at Truckee River Regional Park.