Truckee softball preview: Wolverines starting with fundamentals
In their first swing at breathing new life into the Truckee softball program, new co-head coaches Geary Jones and Martin Davy took a step back in an effort to move forward.
“We’ve gone back to the fundamentals,” Jones said. “We definitely want to win, but it’s all about learning every day.”
The Wolverines have done a little of both in the first two weeks of the season, going 1-1 in Northern 3A league play (4-5 overall) while absorbing their coaches’ expertise and honing the most basic of skills through repetition.
Truckee players are buying into the formula.
“With the new coaches we’re learning a lot of fundamentals,” said Katelyn Gadsby, a returning senior outfielder and catcher. “We’ve been doing a lot of drills every day and having fun.”
Jones, a former catcher selected by the New York Mets in the sixth round of the 1985 draft, said he likes the makeup of the team he and Davy inherited. Both are excited about the fresh start.
“It’s brand new life. Martin and I are taking on this joint venture in coaching the girls, and it’s been awesome,” Jones said. “The girls are all on the same page and having a blast.
“We’ve got a ways to go, but the kids are listening and learning and getting better.”
With only four seniors on the roster, Gadsby said the squad is much the same as her junior varsity team from two seasons ago. So far, she said, the group’s defensive play has stood out above hitting. Senior center fielder Cindy Brenes agreed.
“Our defense has been really good for not being on a field much,” Brenes said. “I think we’ll probably do pretty good.”
Like any softball team, Truckee’s success hinges on its pitchers and their ability to get the ball over the plate consistently. Jones and Davy said it’s been a point of emphasis in the early going.
“Our pitchers have to throw strikes, or else we don’t stand a chance,” Davy said of the Wolverines’ staff, which is four pitchers deep with Rachel Zissimos, Stacy Brenes, Hannah Zusy and Kati Murphy.
Jones said the pitchers will have to battle each week to earn the No. 1 starter role.
“We’re definitely going to trade off at the No. 1 starter job, depending on who has success,” he said.
While the Wolverines boast solid defense and pitching, coaches and players agree that their offense is a work in progress.
“Our hitting is coming together,” Gadsby said. “We’re working on getting our bats around and reading the ball off pitchers’ hands.”
Truckee’s batting order is not set in stone, Jones said, but the coach expects Ashley McKechnie and Cindy Brenes to challenge for the leadoff spot, while Stacy Brenes will likely bat third, Kaycie Jones cleanup and Amber Davy fifth.