The Tehachapi Warrior softball team honored its graduating seniors last week with a pregame ceremony Thursday at Warrior Field. There was no shortage of flowers, balloons and banners, as teammates, parents and fans all recognized the final regular season game for five Tehachapi seniors.
Pitcher Meghan Daffern will be attending college next year at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D. She will be majoring in nursing, and will be playing softball as a member of the Tigers NAIA softball team. Fellow pitcher Bailey Damian will be attending Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, and majoring in business. She will also be pitching for the AVC Marauders softball team.
Catcher Kristen Burgeis plans to attend Bakersfield College, pursuing a medical career, and play softball for the Renegades. Deanna Hammer will be at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, majoring in education, and plans to play ball for the Cuesta Cougars softball team. Finally, Kennedy Caudle will be attending Cal State University San Marcos, pursuing a degree in environmental studies.
The softball games themselves took something of a back seat to honoring the senior class last week, as the Warriors took two lopsided victories over West. The contest in Bakersfield on Tuesday was a 10-0 Warriors win. The squad was led offensively by sophomore Emma Barrett who went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI's, with additional hits and runs added by Daffern, Burgeis, Caudle and Damian. The dynamic duo of pitchers Daffern and Damian allowed only 2 hits, while striking out 9 West batters.
Thursday's game at home was also a one-sided affair. West actually got on the board first, scoring a run on 2 hits in the top of the first, but that was as far as they would get, as the Warriors plated 16 runs in the first 2 innings, on the way to a 24-1 win in 4 innings. Burgeis and Damian each went 3-for-3, while Caudle and Barrett tallied 2 hits apiece, with Barrett plating 2 RBI's to boot. Hammer, along with juniors Hailey VanWey and Hannah Deville, and sophomore Kyndall Perkins also added hits in the victory. The pair of wins put the squad over the .500 mark, finishing the regular season with an 11-10 overall record.
The Warriors' scrappy efforts in a tough South Yosemite League this season were rewarded on Saturday with a CIF Division 3 playoff berth. They will be playing an opening round game against 5th-seeded Mission Oak High School, in Tulare, on Tuesday, May 7. Game time is set for 4:30 pm. Thanks to all the players, parents and supporters for making this another outstanding season.
Paul Askins is a parent with the team.