After a strong run in the Western State Conference North Division in 2019, the Pirate softball team was poised for another run at the title in 2020, before the coronavirus. VC, which was due to open WSC play on March 10 before rain postponed the conference opener, ended the season with an 11-8 record in solid position in what looked to be a four-team race in the division.
Highlights during the shortened campaign included a 6-1 mark at a pair of tournaments, including an undefeated weekend at the Mt. San Jacinto tourney. The Pirates exploded for a season-best 17 runs in a victory over 2018 conference champion Bakersfield on Feb. 25, and they walked off with a 3-2 win over state No. 15-ranked Southwestern on Feb. 7.
Cassidy Craig was a hit machine for the Pirates, batting a team-high .467 with 28 hits in 60 at bats. She also had 11 runs batted in during the season. Kat Tafoya hit .396 with a team-best 14 RBI and Celeste Pacheco batted .377 and Isabel Gallegos knocked out a team-high eight extra-base hits, including four triples. In total, VC had eight players hit over .300.
Defensively, catcher Craig graded out with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage while Aleska Page had a .991 at first base. Shortstop Abby Strong had the most assists on the team with 31, posting a .923 fielding percentage.
Tafoya and Jessica Mendoza shared a majority of time in the pitcher's circle. The pair combined to pitch 106.1 of a possible 116 innings, earning 10 victories.
Tafoya earned team Most Valuable Player honors, combining her efforts at the plate and in the circle. The freshman from Foothill Tech High School in Ventura led the team in RBI, was second-best in batting average and tied for second in runs scored. Additionally, she had a 7-3 pitching record with 61 strike outs in 66 innings pitches with a 3.39 earned run average.
A sophomore from Ventura High School, Craig earned the team's Scholar Athlete Award. She posted solid numbers as a player, including team-highs in batting average, hits and runs scored, and posted a 3.79 grade point average, earning Academic All-State honors for her efforts in the classroom.
|VC Pirate Softball 2020|
|Team MVP - Kat Tafoya|
|Team Scholar Athlete - Cassidy Craig|