In all reality, a 2-17 season is one that many would want to forget, but for the Gustine High softball team, it may be a period to look back on as a year of growth. Come 2023, the Reds will have a handful of returners on the diamond, and head coach Yolanda Gallichio believes that the experience gained last season can make all the difference.
“My returning players, I know they are looking towards an outstanding season… I think we’ll all be surprised of what this whole team will show us and what they are able to do,” Gallichio said.
Though there is experience present, youth is still a major theme of this year’s softball squad, as the Reds will be led by a stable of juniors. The group consists of Christina Navarro, Alexis Gallichio and Caitlyn Gallichio. Additionally, there are two seniors: Nayelli Lomeli and Darian Nunes.
And while there is plenty of optimism and belief in this particular group of players and the team as a whole, the Reds still face the reality of having a team mostly consisting of underclassmen – 6 of 11 players to be exact. It is for this reason that Coach Gallichio is sticking to the basics.
“My expectations for this year’s softball season is like every other year: To make good plays, get solid hits and have good team work,” she said. “I believe that this team will do well in league and win some games.”
After several practices and a pair of preseason scrimmages under their belts already, Gallichio’s confidence has only grown.
“From what I’ve seen, these girls can do [well] against these big teams,” she said. “I’m ready to see their talent. My goal is to better these girls. I also want them to have a fun season… I think we have some amazing girls that will do the same, I have no doubt.”
ABOUT THE TEAM
Head coach: Yolanda Gallichio, second season
2022 record: 2-17 overall, 2-11 Southern League
Key losses: Ryanne Kuden, Ashley Lomeli
Key returners: Christina Navarro, junior, infielder; Alexis Gallichio, junior, pitcher and shortstop; Caitlyn Gallichio, junior, first baseman and catcher