The backside of a T-shirt El Dorado High coach Marci Brown donned at a recent Cougars’ game spelled out “Endurance Dedication Hustle Softball.”
El Dorado has lived up to those words this season: 3-9 in the Sierra Valley Conference and 9-15 overall. One win was a 5-4 decision over playoff contender Vista del Lago.
“We finally beat one of our rivals in Vista,” said catcher/outfielder Katie Harris, a four-year starter on the team.
Against Union Mine, the Cougars dropped both but competed well in the first meeting, a 13-10 setback.
“We’ve always wanted to beat them,” El Dorado’s Maria Gadow said.
The team batted .304. Its on-base percentage was .414, and its fielding percentage was .806. The Cougars scored an average of nearly five runs in conference games. In six of its nine victories, El Dorado scored 12 or more runs.
“We caused great tension this year with all of our teams in our league,” Brown said. “Every team knew that they had to out-hit and outplay us to beat us. The league now knows that El Dorado is a threat.”
Prior to Brown taking over the program in 2009, El Dorado won a combined 10 games from 2005 to 2008.
More than 40 girls tried out for the varsity and JV teams and for the first time in five seasons, Brown had to make cuts.
“I believe that word of mouth from previous players is also a huge influence for them wanting to play on our team,” Brown said. “It’s more than the win factor. It’s the experience.
“We have athletes who love the game and continue to play out of season ball,” Brown added.
Gadow, Harris and Deanna Herrera feel that this year’s team had talent and played in a very talented league, one in which Union Mine sits alone atop the standings.
“We have a lot of talent on the team,” Harris said. Herrera added, “We are a lot more focused on the entire game.”
The girls are also successful off the field with an average GPA of 3.58.
” I’m extremely proud of them,” Brown said.
Another reason for future optimism is that this year’s JV team won the league title with an 8-2 record and finished 20-4.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.