The beaming lady Tigers softball team, from left: Sonia Mancilla, Chloe Roman, Stella Baty, Lauryn Gissibl, Ashlin Hummel, Sophie Ward, Kaylee Frazier, Justine Rapacilo, Abby Klemesrud and Micaela Coronado. Photos by Mari Erin Roth

Lady Tigers end season with spirit

Much weight of each game rests on the strong shoulders of Tiger pitcher Sophie Ward.

The Portola High School softball season ended May 8 with a doubleheader against the Hamilton Braves. The girls have taken on a wide array of teams this year including those from Weed, Modoc, Pierce, Esparto, Mercy, Maxwell, Anderson and South Fork. Local challengers were Chester, Greenville, Quincy and Loyalton.

The PHS team competes in the Mountain Valley League with Biggs, Quincy, Maxwell and Esparto. The ability range in that league is wide. Biggs ended the season on top at 8-0 followed by Quincy, Maxwell, Esparto and Portola at 0-8. But the Tiger spirit is strong and there is nothing about the PHS softball team that indicates it is anything but a winning team.

Watching the doubleheader against the Hamilton Braves on May 8, the Tigers visibly pushed to outperform personal bests. They work as a team, they hustle, they hit, catch and best of all, they smile. The Tiger girls enjoy playing the game of softball and that is the best of all.

“This has been a big rebuilding year,” said head softball coach Pat Keegan. The coach was brought on board about a week before the season began.

The 2018 Tiger team includes three graduating seniors — Stella Baty, Lauryn Gissibl and Ashlin Hummel — with the balance of the players being freshmen and sophomores. “We met our goal for the year,” said Keegan optimistically. “The whole team improved overall from the beginning of the season to the end.”

Along with it being their  second year in 2019, the Tigers may have another great thing to look forward to, the anticipated completion of a new softball field on the PHS campus near the Tiger baseball diamond.

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