Gavilan softball ends up on winning note

The 2003 season brought reason for hope for the Gavilan College
softball program as the Rams (16-24, 7-9 Coast Conference South)
doubled their number of wins from the previous season.
The 2003 season brought reason for hope for the Gavilan College softball program as the Rams (16-24, 7-9 Coast Conference South) doubled their number of wins from the previous season.

The Rams were actually third in their respective division. They ended the year with three straight conference wins, beating Hartnell, Cabrillo and Monterey Peninsula colleges by a score of 4-1.

“It was a successful season,” said head coach Tim Kenworthy, who just ended his second season. “The kids were excited about it. We got better each game.”

The Rams won four of the last five and seven of their last 11 games.

“We had fun,” said Kenworthy. “That’s really the No. 1 goal. Play hard, have fun, do your best and winning will take care of itself.”

The strength of the Rams, who had 11-12 players for the bulk of the season, was defense. One of the top defenders was left fielder Shellby Brown, who played at Hollister High. Brown hit .245 overall and made Second Team All-Coast Conference.

“Shellby played solid defense,” said Kenworthy. “And she hit the ball hard right at people. I keep a stat called ‘stingers.’ That’s when you line drives. Shellby had a lot of stingers this year.”

The was a strong Haybaler influence on the Rams this season. Most of the girls attended Hollister High and some played softball at one time or another in the program.

Stephanie Denton, who pitched her freshman year in high school but not her sophomore through senior seasons, was the main pitcher for the Rams. Denton was 14-13 overall and 7-6 in conference and was selected to the All-Coast Conference Second Team. She tossed a 5-hit, 5-strikeout game in the final game against MPC. At the plate, she hit .248, .306 in conference.

“Stephanie did a great job for us,” said Kenworthy. “And she’s coming back next year.”

Denton was one part of the Sister Act which was the Rams battery. Older sister Kristina was behind the plate.

“She hadn’t caught me until we played Hollister Heat together,” said Stephanie. “It was fun playing with her.”

“Kristina always brought a positive attitude,” said Kenworthy. “The kids voted her captain early in the season. She hadn’t caught for a long time, but she improved steadily. She stabilized things for us on the field.”

Kristina Denton hit .242 for the year.

Third baseman Melissa Almaguer, who played softball her first three seasons at Hollister, was named to the All-Conference Second Team. Almaguer, despite missing five games, led the team in hitting with a .366 average.

Other players who attended Hollister and/or played in the program include Sara Shepherd.

“She was a versatile player for me,” said Kenworthy. “She played center and right field and had some clutch hits for us.”

Two others were Colleen Brown, who played right field and Nani Morales. Morales played half the year, then skipped the rest due to illness.

The top player was Michelle Alvernaz from Live Oak. Alvernaz was named First Team All-Conference. Lee Ann Bertunovich made Second Team.

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