Culver City Observer -

Culver Softball Is Looking Good


February 26, 2015

Fred Altieri

Manager John Sargent addresses team at Veterans Memorial Park

By Fred Altieri

Sports Reporter

With an influx of young talent teamed up with the leadership of veteran seniors and a core of returning quality players the Culver City High softball team can't wait for the 2015 season to begin.

Their scrimmage with Ánimo Academy on Saturday, February 21 at Veterans Memorial Park was a good sign for the program.

With a brand new ballpark ready to open on campus within weeks the girls are beyond eager to play on the fresh dirt and grass. The field has yet to see one Centaur footprint yet they will host Palisades in the grand opener on Tuesday, March 10, in front of an expected record student crowd for softball.

Head coach John Sargent and assistant coach Duane Briggs are equally encouraged. Sargent was confident following two months of spring training:

"The team is young but I'm very impressed with the talent we have. It's a great thing for Culver City softball this year. With the opening of the new field and with the players we have this year I'm very excited about the season."

The team roster features a number of all-league players, a solid defense and a versatile pitching staff to go along with a young catcher with unlimited potential. The hitting has been upgraded and there is definite power in the lineup.

Sargent gave a rundown of the varsity squad: "I have three seniors who have been with me for four years. Their leadership is invaluable to the program. Alex Thomas is a four-year starter in centerfield. Lissa Serna is a utility player and can play short, second and the outfield. Breana Dunlap is a pitcher.

"We have our returning all-league first team second baseman, Melody Rodriguez, all-league first baseman Sabrina Perez and sophomore Natalie Capa returns at third base. Sidra Montoya, a sophomore, is at shortstop. She's really good. Freshman Julia Perez also plays second base.

"In the outfield is Sarah Wells, a returning junior whom I'm impressed with. Returning pitcher /third baseman Imani bell, a junior, is also impressive. Mariko Rooks, a returning sophomore, is in right field and a catcher."

The Centaur battery of four pitchers and their new catcher is the key to a successful year. Coach Sargent: "A case in point is my freshman catcher, Ava Fairbanks. She shows a lot of leadership and she's just blessed with talent.

"Our pitching staff, along with Breana and Imani, we have Emily Piera, a freshman, who is fabulous and a starting pitcher. Savana Aguayo has a great arm, is an excellent defensive player and will also pitch for me."

Fred Altieri

Coach Duane Briggs gathers infielders

The Culver softball season begins when Blair High from Pasadena visits on Tuesday, March 3. The team then hosts Rolling Hills Prep in the St. Monica Tournament on March 6 with a game following the next day.

Sargent realizes there's plenty of work to be done: "The good thing about these girls is that they play travel ball. We didn't have a place to play during the fall and winter months. We have a sixth period P.E. softball class and that's been a big help to keep the girls together and start mapping out what we want to do this year.

"The defense looks good so far and all the girls made contact at the plate today. But it was just a scrimmage so we can't put a lot of stock in it other than evaluating the players and work at preparing for the season. We have yet to play on the new field but we're very excited as a team to get on that field. The girls know the situation and we're getting it done."


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