The Coast Union softball team was shut out by the Lady Mustangs of King City on Friday, March 30 by a 14-0 score. That brings the team’s early-season record to 1-6, but there is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel because play in the Coast Valley League (CVL) begins on the Tuesday after the spring break – on April 10 at Valley Christian Academy.
Head coach Steve Kniffen notes that the schools his team has played (King City, Mission Prep, Greenfield, Santa Maria, Nipomo and Templeton) have considerably larger enrollments and, as a result, stronger rosters.
But he’s not making excuses because most Coast Union sports teams find themselves playing pre-league teams that are tough. That said, it is nonetheless “brutal,” in Kniffen’s words, to lose 25-0, 25-4, 16-1 and 14-0.
The team was missing key players against King City because families were leaving town on vacation; and although a coach has no control over spring break absences, he said losing pivotal players “affects the psychology of the team.”
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Kniffen hopes to have as many players as possible attend practice Saturday, April 7, because on Monday, April 9, “We just have one day of practice before we play Valley Christian Academy (VCA) on Tuesday the tenth.
“If we lose that game,” Kniffen continued, “we are behind the eight-ball.”
Asked about the quality of the VCA team, Kniffen replied that Coast’s opponent on April 10 has only played a couple og games so, “It’s pretty tough to get a feel for them.”
After the VCA game, Coast travels to Shandon on April 13, to Maricopa on April 17, and returns home for a 3:30 p.m. tilt April 20 against Cuyama Valley.