By Ray Hamill — Fresh off the program’s best season in 17 years, College of the Redwoods head coach Megan Valente is hoping the local high school seniors will take notice.
In her second full season in charge, Valente’s team improved from seven wins a year ago to a record of 21-15 this spring, which was the most wins for the team since 2006.
The Corsairs also were an exciting bunch to watch with four walk-off wins, including victories over highly-ranked Butte and Feather River, and a 12-2 record at home.
“I hope local Humboldt seniors look at CR and want to come here because we can compete,” Valente said. “If all the local players came together at CR we would be unstoppable.”
The game of softball has thrived locally in recent years at the youth and high school level, with the H-DN teams remarkably winning a combined five of the past 12 section championships.
The Corsairs closed out the season with three straight road wins last week and finished third in the Golden Valley Conference with a record of 11-9.
This year’s team featured seven sophomores, six of whom joined the team along with Valente before the 2022 season.
“I’m very proud of this group,” said Valente, who added “I had six original players from day one of last season, and for them to stick it out and accomplish so much this season, it was great to see.”
Four of the sophomores will be moving on to play for four-year programs, with some big announcements coming soon.
And the improvement from seven wins to 21 suggests the program is headed in the right direction.
“It shows we are working hard to make CR a powerhouse,” Valente said. “As coaches we want players that are willing to put in the work and that love the game.”
The team’s seven sophomores — Sadie Hampton, Brooke Faraimo, Nas-Che-Wen Hunsucker, Ashley Ballew, Kylee Dewey, Kyla Pontoni and Renee Metz — were recognized before the final home games a couple of weeks ago.
“Our seven sophomores will be missed and we wish them the best in the future,” Valente said. “As a coach I am excited about our program we are building at CR. We are just getting started and we will just keep going up from here.”