SAN BENITO — As the San Benito Lady Greyhounds are having another fantastic softball season, a big part of their success can be accredited to their youth.
San Benito features six sophomores in Alina Jasso, Sarah Garcia, Ariel Garcia, Stephanie Lopez, Eliana Carrizales and April Garcia.
Together the bunch has helped the Lady Greyhounds to a stellar 7-1 district record has the team as a strong contender for the league crown.
“We have a lot of kids that contribute to the team but it’s nice to have such a strong sophomore class,” said head coach Kristy Leal. “They not only gain experience for later years but they’re building the program; so it’s awesome to have that type of production.”
San Benito also has a strong junior class so the Lady Greyhounds will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
The Valley Morning Star sat down with the young ladies to get to know them a little bit better.
Q. How long have you been playing softball?
Ariel: I started playing softball since I was 5 years old.
Q. What is it about softball that interested you to play the sport?
Ariel: Softball was my first love as a little girl. I’ve made so many memories that they are some of the best of my childhood.
Q. How does it feel to be a part of the varsity team at such a young age?
Sarah: It feels great because all my hard work these past years has paid off by being able to play at this high competitive level.
Q. What are your goals for the season?
Sarah: My goal as an individual is to be a very productive member on this team. I would like to be able to produce many hits with my bat and commit few errors with my glove. I would like to strengthen my camaraderie with my teammates so we can work tightly together as one.
Q. What are some of the team goals for this year?
Alina: To take it game by game and come back on top. Of course we want to win district, but to make it all the way to state would not only be awesome for us but for the fans as well.
Q. Do you have any pregame rituals that help you prepare for games?
Alina: I always eat a PB&J sandwich and listen to this one song that pumps me up.
Q. Do you have a memorable performance or game that sticks out to you?
Stephanie: The most memorable game that sticks out to me is when we played against the Southwest team form San Antonio. The intensity was so high; I had lost my voice that game. Even though we lost, it was just one of those games you would remember.
Q. What wouldn’t the fans know about playing the game of softball?
Stephanie: That it’s not always about the home runs, but who plays smartest and makes the best of their opportunities. Although we may struggle at times, we will always play with heart and show class even if we lose.
Q. What’s it like playing for Coach Leal?
April: Playing for Coach Leal has been great so far. She develops a good connection with each individual player that comforts you and let’s you know that there are people supporting you.
Q. What would u say is the strongest part of your game?
April: The strongest part of my game I think is my defense. I have been struggling in batting, but I plan to come back and practice until I get it right and get my chances.
Q. What’s your motivation for the remainder of your time as a Greyhound?
Eliana: To always believe in myself and stay confident no matter what happens.
Q. How’s your experience been playing softball for San Benito?
Eliana: I’ve had a great experience so far since I’ve started playing softball for San Benito.