Lady Bulldogs battle their way to the end of season

By: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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The Lady Bulldogs’ softball team went through a bit of an adjustment period in 2011. After losing seven seniors from a year ago, competing in a realigned Delta River League and with first-year head coach Brett Magorian, Folsom struggled to keep up with the competition. The season began with an 11-1 pounding of El Camino in early March and the season looked promising. Magorian said after that game, “the Delta River League is going to be the most competitive league in this area without a doubt. We have a young team and there’s a lot of pitching in this league so we’re going to have our hands full.” Now, at season’s end, Magorian’s preseason analysis couldn’t be more accurate as Folsom finished the season at 6-18 with a winless mark in the new-look DRL (0-10). “Throughout the last half of the season, we haven’t been giving up. The whole season, we were troopers. We never gave up and never rolled over,” said assistant coach Amy Mason. “We set a goal for the girls over the last couple games that if we weren’t going to the playoffs, then we wanted to knock people out of the playoffs. That was our last goal and we gave everyone a fight, which is what we wanted.” “We always stuck together. We stayed as a unit, win or lose, we played together,” said outgoing senior and Folsom co-captain Kaylan Jackson. “The unity of this team was by far the best part. I’ve never been on such a tight-knit team. That was by far the most outstanding part of this year.” Leadoff hitting shortstop Nikki Clark set the table for the Lady Bulldogs, leading the team in average (.397), runs (19) and hits (25), while leading the DRL with 14 stolen bases. Clark signed a letter of intent in February to play next season for the Sacramento State Hornets. Despite losing Jackson, Clark and first baseman/pitcher Andrea Martin to graduation, the Lady Bulldogs have a young core of sophomores and juniors with plenty of upside for the 2012 season. Sophomore Alex Preddy earned valuable varsity experience from within the circle this year. Juniors Delaney Slater, Kathleen Dowd and Shirley May showed run-producing potential while freshman Vronica Idrogo hit .359 and patrolled the hot corner for the Lady Bulldogs. “We said from the beginning of the year that this was a building year and I think that next year, we’ll show that we’ve built it up and we’ll be ready to play,” said Mason. “We’re definitely looking forward to the future.”