Offensive surges sparks softball team’s hot start to the season

After winning 37 games in 2019 but losing in the state super regional playoffs to Fullerton College, the El Camino College softball team came out of the gates on fire winning eight of their first 12 games to start this season.

The Warriors found success early due to strong starting pitching performances from Elizabeth Cortez and Jaime Garvey, combined with the offense shellacking the opponent.

ECC had a team batting average of .312 and scored 127 runs in 20 games.

“I felt like we started playing much more competitively,” Warriors coach Jessica Rapoza said. “Our lineup and defense was much stronger and more settled.”

Sophomore infielder Mina Nakawake led the team with a .475 batting average and 10 stolen bases while hitting a homerun and nine runs batted in (RBI).

Sophomore pitcher Clarissa Chiquete had a .327 batting average and led the team with five homeruns and 14 runs batted in (RBI).

“Having our players taught by Lindsay Gardner, an amazing hitting coach this fall helped change our mindset and approach throughout games,” Rapoza said. “I think we will be a much better offensive team in future years because of what she was able to bring to our program.”

Gardner is a former NCAA All-American and head coach for five seasons at St. Edwards University in Texas from 2012-2016, accumulating a 150-116 record.

The Warriors ended this season hammering Los Angeles Harbor College 13-0 applying the mercy rule in the fifth inning.

Cortez and sophomore catcher Marissa Garza are weighing options on whether it would be in their best interest to stay after given the extra year of eligibility back or transfer on.

“I plan to use this extra time given to continue working out everyday in order to stay in shape and use the time gained from the cancellation of the season to do more physical therapy to improve my shoulder,” Warriors freshman catcher Megan Whipp said.


Editor’s note: A grammar error was corrected on Tuesday, May 12 at 2:58 p.m.