CIF Arcadia Softball vs. Great Oak


Juliette Fang, Staff Writer

With a crowd cheering them on, the Arcadia High School (AHS) Girls Varsity Softball team went up against Great Oak High School (GOHS) for an exciting game in the first round of the 2023 CIF Southern Section (SS) Division 2. Held on May 3, the game ended with an unfortunate loss of 0-5 for Arcadia, making it the last game of their season. Regardless, the Lady Apaches played very well and persisted throughout the game.

“Performance wise, it was a flat game on our side of the field, but our dugout never gave up,” commented senior Giselle Lai. “The girls on the bench were supporting our pitcher, and we continued to cheer for our batters throughout the entire seven innings.”

Prior to the game, Arcadia had scored an overwhelming victory over Crescenta Valley of 17-5. With this, they stood second in the CIF SS Pacific League standings at 9-1, neck and neck with Burroughs High School (BHS). Great Oak was also ranked second in the Southwestern League at 11-3-1. The CIF game would prove to be the most high stakes of all; whichever team won would advance to the next round. 

The first inning started out with GOHS up to bat. Arcadia started out strong, scoring their first out immediately. However, Great Oak bounced back, scoring a home run. Despite this, Arcadia managed to keep Great Oak from scoring throughout the second inning, striking two of the opposing players out remarkably quickly. 

“My teammates played really well and battled hard,” said freshman Samatha Almaraz, adding that “there was just a lot of excitement and adrenaline, so I think everyone…played the best they could.”

Around halfway through the game, pitcher junior Sofia Herrera was hit in the leg after a Great Oaks player bunted a ball. Though clearly hurt, she was quick to recover and amazingly, continued on with the game. 

The sixth inning saw multiple catches by Arcadia, including an impressive one from the outfield, made just in time to tag the Great Oak player out on third base. Unfortunately, this came at a cost, as the Arcadia player on third base, junior Virginia Garcia-Torres, was injured, the second Apache in the game to do so. Fortunately, she too was able to get back in the game. Despite that, the inning was still a success with two outs being made prior to the injury. 

Almaraz commented that Garcia-Torres “did very [well] that game [and] she put her body on the line a lot…but she was very aggressive and did very well.” 

One of the greatest challenges of the game was overcoming how intimidating the other team was. However, it would prove to be a learning experience in just how much a player’s mindset can affect their performance. 

“I believed we all learned, and confirmed, that softball is a mental sport,” stated Lai. “Had we not known that Great Oak’s pitcher was committed to Ole Miss, our mindsets may have been different going into this game. We may have been more confident and may not have given up so easily.”

The team also showed outstanding sportsmanship and had a great attitude throughout the entire game. Although they unfortunately did not score any points, they still acted as a team and didn’t let the results of the game get them down. 

“Even though we were having a rough time, we were still talking and laughing and getting along,” expressed Almaraz.  

Their great attitudes paid off, as Arcadia showed Great Oak that they would not give up despite the odds. 

“Maintaining a good attitude throughout the game is extremely important because it shows that we are not willing to quit,” said Lai. “The other team knows not to let-up because we can build momentum and come back from behind at any given time. Good attitudes spread from one player to another, just as easily as bad attitudes do, so it’s important to stay positive.”

In spite of the outcome of the game, the AHS Girls Varsity Softball team showed great tenacity and excellent effort. Best of luck in the next season, Apaches!

Photo courtesy of Arcadia DCI intern Jodie Tran