Softball Wilson

Softball Preview: Wilson Wants To Defend League Title

Wilson softball is coming off of one of its most successful seasons in program history. The Bruins snapped Lakewood’s 65-game Moore League winning streak, won their first league title since 2012, and won their first playoff game in six years.

Second-year coach George Molina has to replace All-Moore League pitcher Joey Vega, shortstop Amanda Castro and third baseman Katelyn Howard, but says he has confidence in the core group of six returning starters.

“It’s kind of a new team, but we still have a lot of the same pieces, just moved around a little bit,” Molina said. “I don’t have to say too much about (the league title) because they can see the trophy in the case. They know what they have to do. Our goal every year is to win the Moore League. That’s not going to change. It’s very tough to win the league, that’s why we hadn’t won it in six years.”

Sophomore Hailey Houston will take over the role of ace pitcher after getting valuable experience behind Vega last year. Molina said Houston reminds him a lot of Vega with her crafty movement on off-speed pitches.

Houston will bat second in the lineup behind junior Sinclair Lawhorn (pictured). The three-year varsity starter at first base has led Wilson in on-base percentage for the last two seasons, and that’s why Molina moved her to the top of the lineup.

Sophomore shortstop Sydney Freijanes is back from a season-ending injury, and senior third baseman Michelle Dominguez is back as the cleanup hitter in her fourth season on the varsity roster. Freijanes will hit in the three hole.

Two other sophomores make Wilson solid up the middle defensively in catcher Natalya Rodriguez and center fielder Ava Trachta. They hooked up to throw out a runner in the first game of the season.

Senior captain Griselda Jimenez is back in left field after coming up with a few big hits for the Bruins last season, and freshman Leah Pettway is emerging as an option in right fielder after starting the season hot at the plate. She is the younger sister of UCLA pitcher Zach Pettway, and current Wilson pitcher Ryan Pettway.

Senior second baseman Natalie Bergeron is the other team captain on a team that Molina said needs to rely on its experience.

“Obviously they know they’re capable because they’ve done it,” Molina said of his team. “We’re not as deep this year, but the girls are working hard, caring about each other, and if we stay healthy we have a shot. Talk to me on March 26 at 5 p.m. after the Lakewood game and I’ll tell you where we’re at.”

Wilson is scheduled to host St. Anthony for a nonleague double header on Saturday at 3 and 5 p.m. at Joe Rodgers.

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.