The Carlmont High School softball team was on the doorstep of a Central Coast Section title a year ago and has all but two players returning from that squad.
But even though winning a CCS title is a goal, the team is not getting too far in front of itself.
“I don’t think they even think of that,” Carlmont coach Jim Liggett said of winning a CCS title. “Our immediate goal is to win the league and when they do that, we’ll look on at playoffs. You’ve got to keep them focused on the present.”
The Scots have won their first four league games after losing only two games in nonleague play.
“You can’t be complacent; you can’t be happy with where you are,” Liggett said. “They have a little more confidence and they know if they work hard, there are rewards at the end.”
That confidence spread to sophomore starting pitchers Danielle Guiliacci and Rebecca Faulkner.
Both were starters for the team in their freshman year and have converted their experience to results on the field.
Faulkner went into Tuesday’s game having only allowed two earned runs this season in 43¹⁄³ innings.
Guiliacci has been pretty good, too. She brought a 1.25 ERA into the week.
“There are some pretty good hitters in our league,” Liggett said. “Our pitchers know them and there’s always a challenge on how we’re going to pitch them. They know if they make mistakes, they can get hurt.”
But the players know, Liggett said, they must continue to perform and improve because the competition and expectations on this team are high.
“They know I have confidence in them, but they know if they don’t perform, there are other people who can come in and perform,” Liggett said. “We don’t hesitate to take kids out if they’re not doing well.”
Kelly Robinson is one of only three seniors on the team and has carried the offensive load for the Scots.
She has a team-best 24 RBIs with a staggering .522 batting average.
Fellow seniors Janelle Shiozaki and Aurora Stottler have brought a steadying mentality to the Scots, which keeps that focus on continually improving, Liggett said.
“Those three have done a great job as far as leadership,” he said.