AHS Girls Varsity Softball vs Glendale


Caroline Li, Staff Writer

The pitch is fast, but the batter is faster. She swings with clearly practiced form, sending the ball sky-high as if she would rather it hit a satellite than end up in the other team’s hands. In response, a series of girls in red and white round the bases to the cheers of family, friends, and spectators—these girls are the backbone of the Arcadia High School (AHS) Varsity Softball team, who played against the Glendale High School (GHS) Nitros on Apr. 17, and won with a final score of 20-0.

The day is only getting hotter, and everything from the bleachers to the players is covered in a permanent layer of infield dirt. The Glendale Nitros chant among themselves, bursting into short, smiling cheers for each girl, and “Just Wanna Rock” by Lil Uzi Vert booms from the Apaches’ bluetooth speaker as the batters switch. With Glendale in black and Arcadia in white, each Apache steps up, taps their bat against home plate to find their position, and digs her heels in. Crack! If the ball ends up in the catcher’s mitt, the pitcher digs her toe in for another go. Crack! One ball goes flying into the rear window of an unfortunate car. Crack! Another goes flying into the street and is immediately followed by a screech and some not-so-happy car sounds. A few girls go running out to check on the damage.

GHS had some good bats, but unfortunately didn’t manage to score any points due to AHS’ solid plays. Despite this, the Apaches, unwilling to let their streak slip, were consistently one-upping each other, scoring more and more points in the latter half of the game with impressive momentum.

“It’s always fun playing against Glendale,” reflected senior Giselle Kaylin, who committed to Claremont McKennan College’s Softball team earlier this year. “It’s really important for us to perfect all of our plays because at this point in the season, the race to first place in [Pacific] League is really close. Four teams, including us, are within one game from each other so every win and loss is crucial…our goal is to win another Pacific League Title and beat our rivals, Crescenta Valley.”

As the game neared its close, the Apaches began consistently rounding the bases and scoring in droves as a result. Even so, each girl’s individual technique stayed strong to the end; the plays became more and more precise, with girls practicing their swings on the sidelines when not at bat. Both sides weren’t about to finish without a fight.

Sometime around 6 p.m., the last Apache kicks her bat out from under itself, swings it behind her head, and assumes a ready position—deep crouch, weight slightly shifted back, elbows lifted, eyes pinned on the pitch. She adjusts her grip, then she sends the ball flying, eliciting a roar from spectating parents and peers. Her name is Tiara Westbrook.

“I was just trying to set the tone and play well, heading into the two most important weeks of our regular season,” mentioned Westbrook, who goes by T.T. with her teammates, when asked for comment on her performance that day. “It felt really good to hit those two home runs and come out with the win.”

Victorious, the Apaches swarmed Westbrook—who’d just hit the game-winning ball—with chest bumps and shouts of “Let’s go T.T.!” while the Nitros slapped each either on the back and congratulated each member for their individual successes. Before long, both teams started exchanging dusty high-fives in the name of good sportsmanship, then split off into celebratory huddles with their respective coaches. 

“Go Apaches!” cheered the Nitros with a show of hands. “Go Nitros!” echoed the Apaches. 

And with that, the day came to a pleasant, victorious close for AHS.

“Glendale is one of our easier competitors in our league, but we never take any game for granted,” said junior Virginia Garcia Torres, who scored several great hits all throughout. “Especially since we want to win League [again] this year.”

“Our game against Glendale was a great way to start off our next two weeks of important games,” junior Isabella Aspeitia added. “The girls played really well and it gave us a good rhythm to finish off the season and hopefully take league for the second year in a row. As a team, if we all do our part on the field and at the plate we should have no problems.”

Regardless of the result, both teams played long and hard. While the Nitros returned home armed with yet another game under their belts, the Apaches would continue down the path towards League victory, one step closer to winning it all than that morning.


Photo Courtesy of AUSD DCI Intern Jodie Tran