Cougars take the field

Story and photo by Jonathan Sanchez

The Clackamas Print

A bit of cold weather to start the season isn’t going to deter the Clackamas Community College softball team. The team is already hard at work preparing for the upcoming season.

After finishing last season 30-9, the team looks to come back stronger than ever. Jessica Buel is returning for her 12th year as the head softball coach at Clackamas.

“I am excited to see what this group can accomplish,” said Buel. “Their ceiling is high, and I think it is going to be fun to see how all their hard work has paid off.”

This year’s team largely consists of freshmen who are looking to leave their mark on the field. Hannah Carr, freshman third baseman said, “I honestly don’t believe [a freshman heavy team] has any impact on us as a whole. We all know the game. I don’t think any of us look at each other any different.”

Carr has been surprised with how well the team gets along.

“Our team this year, right off the bat, created a great chemistry… I’ve never had teammates who are so upbeat and so good at picking you up on the field,” Carr said.

Buel expressed a similar view: “It has actually helped the team to build a close bond with so many new people… It also allowed the coaches to help them develop as we would like. We have a lot more to teach, but we have seen a lot of growth.”

Freshman Miranda Jensen has felt more prepared owing to the fact that the coaches have been trying hard to get close to them.

“They have individual talks with you every couple weeks and ask how you’re doing and if you have any concerns,” Jensen said. “I think it’s really important in being able to be close with you coaches. We also do a lot of game-like situations at practice, so if they do happen in a game, we’ve seen it before and we’re ready for it.”

Many of the freshman are excited for this coming season. It comes as no surprise that college softball is a whole different game in comparison to high school.

“At my high school, every day was more laid back, in high school every game was just a game, but in college you take it one game at a time to get to the championship,”said Jensen. “Also, a huge thing is, in college, there is a lot less drama.”

As one of the new freshman, Carr has already set goals for the upcoming season. “I want to communicate strong on the field and do my job in the batting lineup,” Carr said. “I want to also become a stronger and faster player.”

After finishing second in the South Region conference, Buel and the CCC softball team has their eyes set on bringing back a championship this year.

“We are hoping to continue to develop throughout the season, and as always, play for a championship,”said Buel.

As the season begins to warm up, the team is ready to take on any competition that comes their way.

“I am super stoked for the season,” Jensen said.

The Cougars will take on Grays Harbor for their first conference home game on March 17 at noon.