When it comes to returnees, the Hancock College softball squad does not have many.
"We have four returners, Jayden Andrade, Adiana Pacheco, Alexis Porter and Ehysia Glidewell," veteran Hancock coach Scia Maumausolo said before a recent practice.
While, Maumausolo doesn't have a lot of experience coming back she likes what she considers to be her team's quality and work ethic.
"Our girls worked very hard during fall ball and again during spring training," she said.
"We started fall ball with 13 players and came out of it with 10, a small, committed group of young women."
At press time, the Hancock roster was 11 with the Bulldogs due to add Nipomo grad Lisette Corria.
Besides the sophomore returners Maumausolo mentioned, plus another sophomore, Siana Castillo, the Hancock roster consists of freshmen Aneisia Dollinger, Dejah Alcivar, Xchelle Glidewell, Anastazia Garcia, Soleil Orca and Madison Gamble.
All of the players are from the Santa Maria, Lompoc and Santa Ynez valleys.
Maumausolo said that her team will have a three-woman pitching staff this year, with freshmen Dollinger and Xchelle Glidewell joining Porter as starters.
Hancock’s veteran coach said her sophomore returnees should play regularly and that Garcia has likely locked down the starting center field slot.
Beyond that, Maumausolo said, the picture concerning a possible Hancock starting lineup for opening day, which is Tuesday with a home doubleheader against West Hills (Coalinga) that starts at 12 p.m., is pretty fluid.
“There’s a lot of battling for positions right now,” she said.
It’s no coincidence that each player on the Hancock roster has the word “Utility,” listed for a position next to her name.
“I told the players during fall ball that instead of learning two positions, they’ll be learning three,” said Maumausolo.
Fall ball was tough but nonetheless profitable for the Bulldogs, said Andrade.
“We played against (NCAA) Division I teams a lot,” she said. “We got a lot of experience.”
Maumausolo said, “We were playing Division I teams a lot, so there wasn’t a lot of hitting. But yes, this team can hit.”
“I think the team is getting just where it needs to be,” said Ehsya Glidewell.
After a successful playing career at Santa Ynez, Garcia took a year off from school after graduating in 2017.
“I decided to work and save some money,” she said.
Garcia attended Hancock during the 2018-19 school year but this is her first year with the Bulldogs, so she is a freshman in terms of eligibility.
As for Andrade and Ehsya Glidewell they bring a year of junior college softball experience with them to this season.
“I adjusted to junior college pitching pretty quickly,” said Andrade.
Ehsya Glidewell said, “Junior college pitchers throw more variety, more off-speed stuff, but I adjusted pretty quickly.”
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