Updated: Apr 8, 2019
Lady Monarchs softball has an above .500 record and looks to make a deep postseason run however there may still be obstacles holding them back.
By Vicente Vitela, Staff Writer
Currently ranked 15 in the RPI rankings with a 14-5 record, the Lady Monarchs Softball team have a shot at winning it all– at least making a deep playoff push.
On offense, the Monarchs are a team not to be messed with, boasting a .421 on-base percentage, a .496 slugging percentage, and a .332 batting average– this team can definitely hit well. The team currently ranks sixth in runs (142), sixth in doubles (33), and third in home runs with 13. Though it may seem like the Monarchs love the long ball, over the course of the season, Valley has shown that they will do whatever it takes to get on base, as they rank ninth overall in hits with 170 and third in hit by pitches with 20.
“We’re having better approaches at the plate and were not giving at bats away,” said Head Coach Greg Venger after a win over College of the Desert.
The Monarchs have established themselves as a force in the Western Conference, as they have recorded mercy victories over rivals Glendale and Mission Colleges. One key contributor to the season has been Hannah Moulton. The ace pitcher, in her second year, has racked up 14 wins so far.
“We’ve done everything to mentally and physically to prepare her for what she is about to go through,” said Venger early in the season about Moutlon’s preparation in her second campaign as a Monarch.
In addition to the pitching, the Monarchs get production from a variety of hitters, including a mixture of freshmen and sophomores who offer Valley a well-balanced offensive attack.
“We want everyone to come out hungry and aggressive and ready to produce,” said Assistant coach Andrea Contreras after a game against College of the Canyons.
The Lady Monarchs, however, need to overcome a few hurdles this season if they want to make a run in the playoffs. One problem area for the defense is the number of errors they commit, especially late in games. The defense has allowed 38 errors this season, and against teams like COC or Antelope Valley, which capitalize on mistakes, these mistakes could cost Valley the game.
“We are still inconsistent and I won’t be satisfied until we make a routine play routine,” said Venger when talking about his team’s defense.
One other hurdle this team must overcome is that they do not travel well as three of their five loses so far have come away from home. The team will play 10 of their next 14 games on the road.
“We got to grind out some wins and keep our mental toughness,” said Coach Venger when asked about his team’s upcoming schedule.