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The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

A New Era for Rams Softball

Azaria+Sanchez%2C+%232%2C+striking+a+ball+at+home+base+during+a+hitting+drill+practice+at+Granite+Park%0Aon+Jan.+30%2C+2024.
Photo by: Josiah Poynter
Azaria Sanchez, #2, striking a ball at home base during a hitting drill practice at Granite Park on Jan. 30, 2024.

A new era for Fresno City Softball started as Coach Linda Garza won both of her first games on Saturday Jan. 27, after being announced as head coach last year.

With a new season underway, the experience of her players allows Garza to have high hopes for the season.

“I don’t know a lot about our opponents. We definitely rely on a lot of returners, we have a ton of sophomores that start,” Garza said.

Garza said after their first home game of the season, they should have a better understanding of what to expect for the rest of the season.

As the 2024 campaign continues, Garza knows that her team will need to grow and change if they want to improve on and off the field.

“I get a ton of experiences and just a lot of cool, eclectic, type places that I’ve gotten to be at and just met a ton of people have gotten to lead some incredible athletes and incredible individuals,” Garza said. “It’s just constantly forever changing and forever evolving. And I just feel like that’s kind of what education is. It’s one way for a while and then we evolve and it gets better. So I’m excited.”

Garza teaches her players the fundamentals and believes her methods are mechanical. She makes sure her players are spending enough time practicing on different game situations in order to be prepared for anything and everything that her team could face.

According to Garza, having her team play clean and fundamentally sound softball is important for team success.

But as much as she’s focused on success, Garza knows that the athletes can learn as much from losing as they can from winning.

“You have a ton of failure and your relationship with failure has to grow. Failure is just feedback, from that feedback we can make adjustments on our next play,” Garza said.

According to Garza, it’s about managing failure and mentally figuring out how to counter negative thoughts.

“… she [Garza] goes, you just have to control what you can control, you can’t control when he [the umpire] calls balls and strikes. I was like, okay, you’re right. Control what you do day to day life, things that she’s just are so fast in the past four months of knowing her. She’s already instilled in me.” Talyn Lerma, FCC student and catcher for the Rams, said.

After the first weekend she got to see a good idea of what other talent looked like.

She highlights two players who are going to continue playing at university level. Their success is related to the experience they gained at Fresno City College.

Lerma currently has the highest batting average on the team according to FCC athletics. She was happy to score straight off the bat, but knew they struggled defensively in their first game.

“We got out of that inning, were up three, two and then after that, we just put our foot on the gas,” Lerma said. “But our team, no matter what, if someone struck out, they came in the dugout, and we said, you know, we’re gonna get you back up, we’re gonna do our job.”

FCC’s softball team were able to win their first game 12-2, and their second one 7-1 that same day. Consistency and hard work is their key to success.

“We have positions that people have never played before that they’re playing, they’re stepping up because our team needs it,” Lerma said.

Lerma has liked playing under Garza so far, gaining motivation and work ethic through accountability.

Garza uses accountability as a cornerstone for her team, when someone falls down everyone picks her up. Which can be the hardest part about being a teammate.

“It takes a lot of pride and teamwork to help each other,” Lerma said. “The second game we went on seven innings. Our team no matter what, if someone struck out, they came in the dugout, and we said, “we’re gonna get you back up, we’re gonna do our job, we’re gonna go through a lineup right now, we’re gonna get you back up to redeem yourself.”

Kylie Nunes plays center-field as a sophomore at FCC.

“Softball is a game of failure. So it’s really mentally challenging and you just have to get in there and be positive and let your teammates pick you up when you are failing,” Nunes said.

The games were at Allan Hancock in Santa Maria. FCC won 12-2 with a total of 12 runs batted in. Nunes scored in bringing the score up.

Finishing the second game with a win of 7-1 score. Lerma and Nunes were highlighted up at bat. Lerma scored halfway through the game, raising the score.

With a lot more games to play and plenty of time to prepare, the Rams Softball team will be playing away at Cabrillo College on Feb. 15 at noon.

The opening ceremony for the softball field at FCC is set for Feb. 24. Renovations are being made at FCC’s facilities.

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About the Contributors
Paige Gerber, Reporter
Paige Gerber is a reporter for the Rampage at Fresno City College. Twenty-four years old, born in Upland, CA. She was raised in the mountain area around Coarsegold, CA, which shaped her appreciation for nature and adventure. She is working to get her associate's degree, majoring in Communications and Journalism. Paige's academic excellence was recognized by the Communications Scholarship in 2022 and the Calviva Scholarship in 2023 from Clovis Community College. Demonstrating consistent commitment, she also secured a spot on the Dean's list for two consecutive years. Once she graduates, she plans to continue to pursue a bachelor's degree in Journalism and has the dream of becoming a news anchor. She has an interest in videography and photography. Paige has a passion for interviewing others and talking. She moved to Los Angeles for a few years, where she found her love for media being on camera, and being involved with television productions. After moving back to Fresno, she pursued a degree in Journalism. The inspiration for her journey lies in the joy of connecting with people. She’s dedicated to improving her skills and completing her degree. She has a focus on entertainment in news writing, and she is ready to immersive herself in that industry. Her goal is to bring stories to life in unique and captivating ways. She has a passion for traveling and has experience studying abroad in Greece, learning about anthropology and public speaking. In her free time, she enjoys playing sports like volleyball and tennis to stay active. A fun fact about her is she loves sushi and seafood and prefers summer over winter.
Josiah Poynter, Managing Editor
Josiah Poynter is a 21-year-old journalism major in his fourth semester at Fresno City College and his third in the Rampage. He was born and raised in Camarillo, CA (go PVCS Lions) but has lived in Chicago and now lives in Fresno. Josiah previously held the positions of both the Entertainment and Sports Editor and is now the Managing Editor. He loves journalism and has excelled at writing, even winning a writing contest in second grade against high school students. He has been a part of a newsroom since 2020 going all the way back to his high school in Downers Grove, IL. Moving forward into the future, Josiah knows journalism is calling. He takes pride in knowing his voice and his writing can shape the news landscape and be the voice for people for many years to come. He wants to do something like political reporting, courtroom reporting, or taking on bigger issues that affect local communities but is ultimately unsure where journalism will take him. When he’s not in the newsroom, Josiah is enjoying life and taking it easy as he sees no need to rush when the world has so much to enjoy. He takes one day at a time and prefers relaxing and going out with friends than anything. Some of his hobbies include watching movies (especially those up for award-season), being a nerd about things whether it be comic book media or breaking down the ins and outs of sports, and constantly trying to convince his girlfriend he’s Batman.  

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