Slow SFL start doesn't faze Lady Eagles

Del Oro girls host Idaho team Monday in Loomis
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Service
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The Del Oro Lady Eagles softball team is off to an unfamiliar 0-2 start in Sierra Foothill League play after the Black and Gold recently dropped league opening games to Woodcreek and Rocklin.

But according to new Lady Eagles softball coach Sean Erickson, the defending SFL champions aren't ready to hit the panic button.

"Of course we'd rather be 2-0 instead of  0-2 but we're a team in transition right now," said Erickson who was an assistant under former coach John Peck the last few seasons in Loomis. "We've been playing pretty good ball, we just are off to a rough start in league." 

Because of the league’s triple round robin 15-game SFL schedule, three league games were scheduled before Del Oro’s spring break (March 25-29) and around early season tournaments and non-league games. Del Oro's SFL game on Wednesday against Granite Bay was rained out.

Following this weekend's LaDoux Tournament in Roseville, Del Oro will play an unusual non-league game Monday at 12 noon in Loomis against Twin Falls, Idaho. The game came about because one of Twin Falls' coaches is Jessica Pistole, who has Jessica Logsdon was a standout at Del Oro in the late 1990s.

"Jessica played with my daughter Summer on the Breeze ASA team," said Erickson. "They've  remained friends and stayed in contact. Jessica has been a coach at the collegiate level and when they landed in Idaho,  it was a natural."

This year's Del Oro team has three players who have committed to play college softball next year. They include pitcher Carly Xepoleas (Azusa Pacific), second baseman Courtney Smith (UC Davis) and first baseman Hanna Miller (San Francisco State).

Last Wednesday, Del Oro, 5-3 on the season, avenged an earlier tournament loss to Whitney by rallying late in the contest to register a 6-3 victory over the Wildcats.

Tied 3-3 in the sixth inning, Del Oro plated three runs in the top of the sixth to provide the margin of victory. Leading Del Oro’s 13-hit attack were Courtney Smith (2x4, RBI, 2b), sophomore Kelli Bates (2x3, 2 RBI), sophomore Molly Fowkes (2x3 RBI), Maicy Schwarta (1x3 RBI, 3B) and Elena Topete and Hanna Miller, both with one rap each.

 Xepoleas went the distance for the mound win by allowing four hits, fanning four and walking five.

In an 11-1 loss to Rocklin on Thursday, the Lady Eagles fell behind 5-0 after three innings and never recovered. Fowkes went 2x3 with a run scoring double for the Lady Eagles.

"The Rocklin game was one of those games where we couldn't do anything right," said Erickson. "That's a game you forget and just move on from."

Right now the Lady Eagles' roster contains three sophomores and two freshmen.

"We're young this year," said Erickson. "But we're not using that to slow us down. We want to keep getting better every day."