LHS softball team embarks on season
Winning just one game to open the season may cause a team to worry, but Lassen High School softball head coach Paul Moore is not concerned. "This is just the beginning of a very tough preseason schedule for us," said Moore, who enters his second year as coach. "I'm telling the kids to dig in and play hard. They're going to learn a lot on the way.
"I want us to see everything before we start league."
Lassen opened the Las Plumas Tournament in Oroville with a 3-2 win over Woodcreek of Roseville, but followed with losses to Fallon, Nev. 4-1 and Chico 1-0.
Against Woodcreek, Alisha Perdue went 3-for-3 and Britny Mack, a transfer from Oakdale, was 2-for-3.
Junior pitcher Megan Lybarger hurled a one-hitter, striking out five.
Megan Bera got her first varsity start against Fallon. She picked up the loss and gave up a two-run home run.
"Megan pitched a fine game. Fallon is a good hitting team and she kept their bats quiet most of the game," Moore said.
Perdue was 1-for-2 with a RBI.
Chico pitcher Justine Larson held Lassen at bay, tossing a shutout. Lee Robertson collected a hit.
"She lived up to what I've heard about her. That was the first time we've seen her and she threw hard," Moore said.
The Grizzlies are coming off a 23-12 season, tying for first in the Westside League and coming up a game short of a Northern Section championship.
Lassen fell to Enterprise 10-0 in the title game.
"I expect us to be in contention for a league title and make a run at the Division III crown. Enterprise lost a lot of kids to graduation, leaving the door open. We've got a shot to win the whole thing," Moore said.
Lassen, Las Plumas and Orland figure to be the top contenders for the WSL crown. Las Plumas tied Lassen for the top spot in the WSL last year.
Corning and Oroville figure to struggle.
"Orland looked real good and Las Plumas is pretty good. Winning (a league title) has always been tough. It's not going to be any easier this time around," he said.
Danielle Bera, Robertson and Lybarger return after all-league seasons. Bera anchors the defense at shortstop and teams up with Robertson at second base, while Lybarger touts all-section stuff.
Lybarger went 7-1 in league play last season.
"Megan is definitely all-league material. She's has been practicing in the off-season and already is on her game and looked good (at the Las Plumas Tournament)," Moore said. "Danielle is our team leader and is the center of our defense. She puts in extra time to make herself a better player and it shows. It's always good to have a player on your team that is as dedicated as her.
"Lee again will be the lead-off hitter. Her job is to get on base and kick start the offense."
Senior Julia Branch will step off the mound and play first base, where she is settling in nicely. Nicolette Stokes will play third base and bat in the No. 2 spot. She is a good bunter and has decent speed.
"There isn't one great player on this team, just a lot of good ones. I've told the players, if we work together, we've got a good chance at accomplishing what we can do," Moore said.
Lassen debuts at home against Carson City, Nev. today at 3 p.m. at Riverside Park in Susanville. The girls return the favor, traveling to Carson City Tuesday, March 19.
The Grizzlies then head to the Tokay Tournament in Lodi Friday-Saturday, March 15-16, while the junior varsity girls head to Redding for the Enterprise Tournament.
Lassen will host the Third Annual Coca-Cola Classic Friday-Saturday, March 22-23. Like always, the tournament features some of toughest teams in Northern California.
Moore will be joined by assistants Kim Erb and Steve Robertson.
Lisa Deal will coach the junior varsity team and Brian Dunn will serve as her assistant.