Team chemistry and a strong amount of talent are the two areas that Benson softball coach Brittany Batten is very excited about going into the 2020 season.
“We have the capabilities to do a lot of great things this year,” Coach Batten said. “We have many new faces on the team so everyone is currently trying to learn their role and what is expected of them. We are very happy with our team chemistry — we are one unit working together and I know we are all excited about that. But we do have work to do, we’re young. We need to learn to step it up a little bit as the season goes on.”
Early season action had the Bobcats competing in the 26th Annual Dorado Classic Softball Tournament in Tucson on Feb. 27, 28 and 29. The early tourney season action, which does not impact their regular season record, had Benson competing in six games in three days.
The Bobcats first took on Canyon Del Oro on Feb. 27, falling to the Dorados 9-1. Undaunted, Benson came back later in the day to defeat CDO 10-3 and El Paso Eastwood 6-5.
Friday morning had the Bobcats facing off against Marana, but an early lead by Marana was too much for Benson as they fell 6-1. Knowing that their next game would determine Saturday’s competition, the Bobcats held strong to defeat Cholla 2-0.
Going into Saturday’s game with a tournament record of 3-2, Benson faced a tough El Paso team — Americas. A first inning lead of 9-0 was too much for the young team and, even though they fought back, they fell 12-5 to finish the tournament with a record of 3-3.
“The CDO tourney showed us some of the spots we really need to work on as a team, both offensively and defensively,” Batten said. “This has motivated our players to work even harder during practices.”
Their first regular season game had Benson traveling to Tucson to take on Desert Christian. Taking the lead early, the Bobcats lead 17-0 going into the bottom of the 3rd when the Eagles scored. Nine more runs in the next two innings to one for the Eagles had the Bobcats finishing the game by the 10-run rule, 26-2 at the end of the fifth inning.
Freshman Celina Wilharm lead the team with six RBIs followed by junior Emily Darwin with three; freshmen Lily Speer and Grace Parke with two each; and freshman Tatum Benson, senior Letty Lopez, Teresa Garza, sophomore Shaylin Taylor, junior Brooklynne Pullis, and junior Taylor Fenn with one each.
The Bobcats competed on Monday, March 9th against Santa Rita and on Tuesday, March 10th against Pima (results were not available at press time).
Benson will be traveling to Payson on March 12 through the 14 to compete in the Gracie Haught Invitational. They will also be competing on Tuesday, March 17 in Tombstone against the Yellow Jackets at 3:30 p.m.
This year’s coaching softball staff includes: head coach Brittany Batten, Coach Ernie Batten, Coach Bert Cardenas, Coach Jeff Darwin, Coach Kady East-Wilkerson, and Coach Clint Wilharm. Captains for the team are Letty Lopez and Brooklynne Pullis.