By defeating Valley Christian Academy 13-2 on Monday, May 1, the Coast Union softball team improved its Coast Valley League record to 5-0 and in the process took over first place in the CVL. The Lady Broncos are now a game ahead of VCA (4-1), and the two teams will meet again at Coast Union on May 11.
Ani Corbet and Serena Valenzuela led the hit parade Monday with three hits each; Corbet also scored three runs and drove in two for the Lady Broncos. Valenzuela had one RBI. Riley Volz, Zoe Markham, and Ailyn Casas each had two hits.
Corbet did a “great” job on the mound, coach Steve Kniffen wrote in an email interview. The junior threw 85 pitches over seven innings, allowing three hits, walking two and striking out 11.
Kniffen also praised Corbet’s battery mate, catcher Alyssa Drew, who is “not flashy, and her stats may not reflect her importance to our team, but her catching is solid, she is the team’s best bunter, and is deceptively fast.”
Kniffen mentioned that Markham is “becoming a great lead-off hitter,” but she needs to hit fewer fly balls and more ground balls, the coach said. In softball, because the bases are closer together than in baseball, a ground ball in the infield presents the possibility of an infield hit.
As is his pattern, Kniffen is candid about how well his players are performing. Serena Valenzuela has the ability to carry the team on her back, the coach explains, “but she needs to quit feeling like it and just do it naturally … which is a tough skill set to learn.”
Serena’s sister, Keana Valenzuela, while perhaps not the best athlete on the team, puts forth laudable effort. “Her attitude is good,” and while her play isn’t “spectacular,” it is “flawless,” Kniffen explained.
Melody Robertson has “The best attitude on the team,” and is “a blessing to be around every day,” the coach made clear.
On Tuesday, the softball team traveled to Maricopa, where the temperature was in the 90s, and defeated the Lady Indians, 29-12. With that win, the Lady Broncos improve their CVL record to 6-0. Their next home game is against VCA at 3:30 p.m. Thursday May 11.
The Bronco baseball team tightened its hold on first place in the Coast Valley League with a 26-1 win over the Maricopa Indians on Tuesday, May 2. Coast Union is now 5-0 in league play, thanks to hot hitting by the team, including a pair of home runs from Thor Ronemus, who drove in seven runs for Coast.
Spencer Magnuson also blasted a home run for the Broncos. Riley Kennedy had three hits, scored five runs and stole two bases; Will Stephenson, Chase Volz, and Nic Robertson each chipped in with a pair of hits. Nate Markham had a single hit and scored four runs as Indians pitchers issued a number of walks.
Kennedy and Volz, the leading hitters on the team, shared the pitching duties for Coast Union. Kennedy, with a .467 batting average, threw 29 pitches in two innings; he gave up two hits and struck out three batters. Volz, who leads the team with a .500 batting average, also pitched two innings, gave up a single hit and struck out four; he threw 30 pitches.
The Broncos played a nonleague game against Dunn School on Wednesday, May 3, and will close out the regular season at home against Valley Christian Academy on May 11.