Rebuilding COS softball team is making progress

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
College of the Siskiyous pitcher Katelyn Bauman has pitched all but two innings of the Eagles' first 26 games. She shown March 12, 2013 in one of the two games the Eagles have played on their home field in Weed.

First-year College of the Siskiyous softball head coach Jon Cox understands that opposing teams are relishing the opportunity to take down an Eagle team that was so dominant for so many years.

Many of the players Cox recruited after the mass exodus that followed the dismissal of previous coach Doug Eastman hadn't played softball in a year and a half.

The Eagles lost games by lopsided scores like 16-0 and 13-0 early in the season, but they've become more competitive as time has gone on.

Siskiyous has faced some former Eagles who are now playing in other California Community College programs and "have helped their (new) teams become stronger," Cox said.

The Eagles' roster of 11 players includes six graduates of Siskiyou County high schools, Hannah Crisci, Samantha Reed and Amanda Woods of Mount Shasta, Rachel Lyons and Lisa Jordan of Etna, and Carrie Watson of Yreka.

Cox said only two players who were planning to be Eagles prior to the coaching change remain with the program: pitcher Katelyn Bauman of Spokane, Wash., and catcher Taylor Castro of Salem, Ore.

Bauman has pitched every inning of every game except two so far this season.

Castro made the all-tourney team at Ohlone's March Madness tournament in Fremont over the weekend before suffering a hand injury when she was stepped on while sliding into second base. She was 4 for 4 in a 7-6 loss in 8 innings to Gavilan, 1 for 3 in a 6-1 loss to Fresno City, 1 for 1 in a 5-1 loss to Solano, and 1 for 3 in an 8-4 loss to DeAnza. All totaled, Castro was 7 for 11 for the weekend.

Bauman, according to Cox, has not been dominant, "but she keeps us in games."

The Eagles (4-22) have played only two of their 26 games at home, a pair of losses to Lassen College, 3-1 and 5-0 Tuesday of last week.

In their best offensive performance in Fremont, the Eagles had 12 hits against Gavilan, 4 by Castro, who tripled, drove in a run, and scored 3. Watson was 2 for 4, Mandee Pope was 2 for 4 with a triple and 2 RBI, Crisci was 2 for 3, Jordan tripled, and Lyons singled.

Against DeAnza, Watson hit a home run, Lyons was 3 for 3 with a triple and an RBI, Reed was 3 for 4 and scored twice, Pope was 2 for 4, and Melanie Tennis and Crisci both drove in runs.

They're scheduled to play six more road games in four days starting with a doubleheader at Shasta College in Redding Friday.

Shasta (17-6) was No. 15 in the state in the most recent California Community College Athletic Association rankings. And the Knights are doing it with a roster that includes former Mount Shasta High School star pitcher Kayla Spini, Weed High graduate DJ Foster, Etna High graduate Katie Eiler, and former Siskiyou shortstop Nikki Foster.

Spini has a 7-4 won-loss record in 12 games with a 2.24 earned run average. She has pitched 11 complete games, striking out 45 in 72 innings while walking 18.

She also has a .393 batting average with 1 home run, 2 doubles and 14 RBI in 61 at-bats.

Foster has driven in 16 runs in 74 at-bats with a .338 batting average.

"They're the best team in our league," Cox said of Shasta. "We're looking forward to playing them."

The games were originally scheduled to be played in Weed, but were switched to Redding at Shasta's request, Cox said.

Siskiyous will then play at Redwoods (2-19) Saturday in Eureka and at Lassen in Susanville Monday.

Cox said the Eagles match up well with Redwoods and, if some bounces go their way – and injuries diminish – he feels like they have a chance to finish the GVC season with a .500 record.

They're scheduled to play their final eight conference games at home April 5, 6, 13, and 20.

"We're very competitive in games, but the little things good teams do we don't do well," Cox said. "But that doesn't take anything away from how hard our girls are working. They're keeping their heads up and getting better."

Cox said he is proud of his players, and parents and the school "have been very supportive."