After a Years Absence, TC Softball Gets a Re-start
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
February 1, 2016
Taft College restarted its softball engine last Friday a year after a season was cancelled due to a lack of players.
As expected not all the cylinders were clicking but the coaches came away filled with optimism despite a 14-4, five-inning loss to Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria.
“We are essentially starting a new program,” said head coach Kanoe Bandy, who also is the college’s athletic director. “We had to literally start from scratch, but we are excited about starting a new season. We have some talent but just lack experience, especially our pitching.”
Bandy is teaming up with husband, Don, who came out of retirement, and newcomer Amy Droege, who was an assistant coach at College of the Canyons in Valencia last year.
“We not only have new players, we have a new coaching staff,” Kanoe Bandy said.
Three players from last year’s aborted season continued to work during the spring: Halle Neher, Bailey San Augustin-Nordmeier and Amber Vaughn. Neher and Nordmeier also play volleyball and Vaughn is a member of the Cougar basketball team, so she’s doing double duty.
Nordmeier pitched the first three innings Friday, giving up five runs (one earned), on four hits and six walks. Alexandra Benevidez worked the final two innings, giving up eight hits.
“We’re still working with her on her control,” Bandy said. “She throws hard.”
Nordmeier, shortstop Tiana Cantero-Kawela and second baseman Sonja Lawrence all smacked triples. Neher, Alexandra Benevidez, Vaughn, Keana Ratcliff-Hogan and Jaqulyn Martinez singled.
“As you can imagine, there were a lot of jitters,” Bandy said. “Everyone was nervous and it showed in how we played.”
The Cougars hope to calm the nerves some when they play a doubleheader against Gavilan College in Gilroy on Thursday.
The home opener is Feb. 9 when Chabot College comes to town for a twin bill.