The home stretch

As sports come into play, baseball and softball now rally up for their first games

Angel Perez, Copy Editor

As regulations changed, softball and baseball had now gotten the confirmation to begin scrimmages to start playing against other schools. Even though fall sports were delayed, their CIF calendars were right on time to commence playing and thus begin their season. To play with other schools, preparations had to be taken into account. 

“Luckily for us, our conference, the CDAA, is made up of only two districts: Saddleback Valley Unified and Capistrano Unified,” Athletics Advisor Chad Addison notes. “We work very closely to try and avoid kinks; to try and line calendars. This year is the first time in a long time that our academic calendars match up. So our Spring Breaks are the same, and finals week is the same. It was an issue that we had to work around in the past. If we had finals week in a different week than they did, we have to juggle and manipulate the schedule. Overall, we’ve had weekly meetings with the ADs to try and make sure that we were as consistent as possible.”

Due to the start of scrimmages and games, audience members such as the player’s immediate family can come and watch the game. However, regulations still apply to audiences and players alike, with masks in play. 

“If you go out on the field, hopefully, you’re going to see that players don’t have to be masked while they’re on the field playing,” Addison mentioned. “Though, coaches and umpires have to be masked at all times, and players have to be masked while they’re out in the dugout area. Like if we have a player in the left-field playing either baseball or softball and they’re out on defense not wearing a mask, well, when they jog off the field and come into the dugout, they have to wear a mask. Because now the social distancing is a little tougher in its smaller quarters. Once it’s their turn to hit, they can take their mask off. We also are sanitizing our equipment, and we’re doing everything we can to avoid an outbreak.” 

On the topic of outbreak, it is more crucial than ever for players to follow guidelines so that their season can be regular, in a sense. 

“That’s the biggest thing for us,” Addison started. “We want to keep athletes safe. There’s only so much we can control. We can’t control what students do when they leave campus, with who they hang out with at home with family, so if a sibling or parent ends up getting sick and passing it along to one of our student-athletes. What we don’t want to have happen is an entire team become sick, and that’s where we’re trying to do our part to avoid that situation.” 

However, with these scrimmages in baseball and softball, all levels will be able to prepare and play for their season, meaning the varsity, JV and freshman teams for baseball and varsity and JV for softball. With softball’s varsity going undefeated in their first two games with 8-3 against Laguna Hills and 5-4 against Foothill, along with a scrimmage against Trabuco won with a shutout; a 3-0. Baseball’s varsity had won their first game, going 4-3 against Villa Park. All three baseball categories: varsity, JV and freshman, won against Aliso Viejo with a 6-1 from varsity, 4-3 from JV and a 5-4 from freshman. With wins for their first games, baseball and softball are off to a great start. 

The broader picture is a bittersweet moment that players can now play, including sports like water polo and football. With families attending games, it’s a reminiscent setting that reminds most of a regular season.

“Sports was gone for twelve months, so the best part about it now is seeing athletes competing, having fun, smiling and seeing parents that I’ve built relationships within athletics. That’s been the best part; just feeling like we’re getting so close to being back to normal. The good news is that at this point right now, it looks like we won’t have a single sport that lost out completely for our seniors,” Addison commented. 

With a promising start from baseball and softball alike and all sports, starting their new season. Seniors, unlike last year, are now able to get a chance to show what they have been working on. However, the regulations remain in the air of how it may change if something were to happen. It is unlikely that any rules would change drastically due to Orange County being implemented into the red tier, so sports were allowed to resume regular seasons. To this, baseball and softball have a solid hold on their winning lead against other schools and are very keen to keep it that way.

Baseball player, Alex Salas, doing catching practice.