In addition to repeating as champions, the team completed a 10-game winning streak — and with it the JV softball program’s first perfect season.
“I’ve coached softball for 17 years, and this was the most dominating team that I’ve ever been around,” said Patterson coach Harley Parson. “Every time we had a big game, this team stepped up. The way they composed themselves was amazing.”
The ping of the bat and the pop of the glove began resonating from Patterson’s practice field in early February.
From there, the Tigers undertook a four-month-long journey toward softball perfection, learning a thing or two about teamwork and camaraderie along the way.
“Nobody worked harder than us,” Parson said. “We practiced six days a week for three months. We focused on upper-body strength, we worked out our cores, and we were mentally and physically ready for any situation that we might see on the field.”
In 2012, Patterson (17-2 overall, 10-0 WAC) scored 202 runs in 19 total games, while allowing an average of only four runs per contest.
Lucero Vargas, a freshman who pitched every inning of every league game this season, was essentially Patterson’s pitching staff.
Her league-season numbers are startling — 10 starts, 10 wins and a 1.31 ERA. But they’re no shock to the coach who tabulated them.
“You’ve got to just get into each game and keep going — (Vargas) did that all season for us,” Parson said. “It takes a certain level of toughness and confidence to do that.”
Offensively, Patterson sustained a team batting average of .442 in 10 league games.
Individually, the Tigers were paced by Mariele Schut’s .586 batting average. The sophomore also drove in a league-high 41 RBIs.
Seven Patterson players hit better than .450 for the campaign, including Vargas (.553), Leanna Lindsey (.517), Courtney Palla (.490), Britnei Murray (.486), Devina Cantu (.476) and Idalis Besinaiz (.451).
But Parson warned that this year’s success should not be attributed only to the team’s star players.
He said the unwavering support of the team’s coaches, parents and fans helped the Tigers triumph, including assistant coaches Kayla Souza and Trey Parson.
“Kayla took care of all of the pitchers, and Trey handled all of the outfielders,” Parson said. “That allowed me to be able to sit back and coach this year, instead of having to do too much teaching.”
It takes talented, dedicated athletes to pull off an undefeated season, Parson said.
“I take a lot of pride in this team,” he said. “These players are all a part of my family.
“We never talked about stats. We just took things one game at a time.”