Turlock’s varsity softball team is aiming to have a breakout season by the team’s expectations, however, they must quickly forget their 8-2 loss to Manteca High in their second home preseason contest on Thursday.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” said Turlock head coach Jill Ogden. “We just wanted to work on some things like hitting, which we didn’t quite get done, give kids playing time and kind of see which kids can execute in different positions.”
Turlock was coming off a 9-3 win over Central Valley last week, a game where every player on the lineup managed to get on base.
This time unfortunately it wasn’t the same.
“We also have a lineup that is really deep. In the first game, we played we had every single get on base. We have a lot of depth,” said Ogden.
Currently, the roster has 13 players and two of them are already verbally committed to a Division-I University in sophomore Shelby Frutoz (Long Beach State) and junior Sophie Mayol (Stanford).
“Shelby and Sophie both earned it,” said Ogden. “It’s well deserved and good to have that resolved where they are going to go and play. It definitely gives them a leadership position on the team where other kids look up to them with knowledge and all those things. They are both excellent players, they deserved it.”
Frutoz and Mayol, who were stars last season for a Turlock team that barely missed the playoffs after a 5-10 league record, were some of the few highlights on Thursday against Manteca. Both were able to get an RBI hit in the bottom of the first inning but Manteca already led 6-2 by this point.
Frutoz, who started at first base on Thursday, took over pitching in the first and held Manteca to just a pair of runs. Going into the bottom of the first inning Manteca had scored six runs.
Mayol reached base all three times, getting hit-by-pitch in her final two at-bats. She also managed to get two pick-offs in the third inning at third base while playing shortstop.
Turlock is also expecting a lot of playing time from freshman catcher MacKenzie Campbell among other underclassmen.
“That’s tough to ask a freshman to come in and catch Shelby,” Ogden added. “She came in and had a great game. We have Kayla Pollinger and Megan Van Ruler and Felisha Dias coming up from JV as well as Faith Erb — the rest are returners. We expect them to compete every time and have good at-bats. We expect them to play every inning like it’s the most important and I know we will compete in league.”
The next game for Turlock will be on the road against Clovis East at 5:30 p.m. Friday.