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Millikan Softball

Softball Preview: Millikan Ready For Rebuilding Mode

The Millikan Rams and fourth-year coach Akemi Fleming have their work cut out for them this season with seven freshmen on the roster.

“We’re kind of in a rebuilding stage right now,” Fleming said. “We had the most travel ball players at our summer camp since I’ve been here. We usually have a handful of them, but we had about 20… Once I saw the group I knew I had to groom and build with them.”

Pitcher Victoria Byrum, third baseman Ari Ramirez, right fielder Erica Estrada and left fielder Robin Garcia are all tabbed to be freshman starters.

Byrum will join sophomore Bailey Anderson and senior Olivia Ramirez in the circle to try and replace All-Moore League Pitcher of the Year Rachel Rubio and second-teamer Gretchen Goldsmith. Ramirez was on the Junior Varsity team as a freshman when she suffered an arm injury, and now she’s recovered and back in the lineup.

Behind the plate for those pitchers will be junior captain Lily Romero. Fleming said the First-Team All-Moore League catcher is a perfect leader for this young, shy group.

“Her growth has been amazing,” Fleming said. “She was like those other freshmen now. She was really quiet. She’s grown into a vocal leader behind the plate.”

First-Team All-Moore League third baseman Anissa Ramos (pictured) has moved to shortstop for her leadership abilities, and the senior will hit in the three spot.

“The way we play is very energetic,” Ramos said. “The chemistry is way better than it’s been in the past. In the past there were individual problems… We’re just moving forward day-by-day and we just clutch up for each other.”

Ramos’ move has opened up a spot for Ramirez at third, and the freshman’s big bat will hit cleanup. She hit her first home run in the second game of the season last week.

“I hold the younger girls to a higher expectation because I know the potential that they have,” Fleming said. “They all play on different travel ball teams and getting them to play together is kind of hard. I want these girls to produce, get better, grow and prepare for the future.”

Junior center fielder Grace Fleming will also be a key at the top of the Millikan lineup. She hit .392 last season with 27 runs scored and six stolen bases last season.

Millikan is in CIF-SS Division 3 this season after six-consecutive first-round exits.

2020 Long Beach Softball Season Preview

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.