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May 29, 2007 > Lady Renegades move on after a great 2007 softball season

Lady Renegades move on after a great 2007 softball season

By Biff Jones

For the Lady Renegades Softball Team it was a year of amazing victories and gut-wrenching losses. There were also a number of blow-out wins by eight runs or more, but no losses of more than five runs. Only twice all year did a team score more than six runs in a game against Ohlone. One was of the come-from-behind variety and the other a "heart-breaker" in the play-offs.

Head Coach Donna Runyon and her charges collected a fifth straight Coast Conference, North Division (CCND) title which gave them an automatic bid to the California Community College State Championship Tournament. Ohlone tied College of San Mateo for first place with a 20-4 conference record and won the tie breaker over CSM by taking two out of three games between the two schools.

The Lady Renegades entered the play-offs with an overall record of 34-9 and ended the season at 36-11 when they defeated College of the Sequoias from Visalia, twice by one run, in both weekend play-off games. However, their season would end the following weekend as they suffered two losses to San Jose City College in the second round of the state tournament. Once again, the difference in each game was one run.

Ten of fifteen Ohlone players earned post season honors. Sophomore designated player (hitter), utility player, number two pitcher (6-5 record), and clean-up hitter, Tiffany Chan was selected to the NorCal regional team; as was freshman first baseman, back-up catcher, and number three hitter Cassandra Ortega. The two also made the all CCND First Team as did teammates, sophomore Valerie Briones, center fielder, lead-off hitter and one of the top base stealers and run scorers in NorCal; sophomore Isabel Ramos, team Captain and work-horse of the pitching staff (19-5); and freshman Kassandra Winger, second baseman and back-up shortstop.

Selected to CCND second team were sophomore catcher Meredith Ang, freshman left fielder Danielle Cameron, sophomore shortstop Jessica Soderholm, sophomore third baseman Raquel Torres, and freshman right fielder, spot starter and relief pitcher (4-1) Danielle Yee.

Other team members were sophomore Kristina Gonsalez, a transfer from San Joaquin Delta College, number three pitcher (6-0), outfielder and pinch runner; freshman Katrina Roman, back-up third baseman; freshman Danielle Sommer, back-up first baseman; freshman Casey Brown, outfielder and pinch runner who joined the team around mid-season; and freshman outfielder Courtney Vijeh who was unable to finish the season because of injury.

For the seven or eight returning freshman (four were starters) there will be another Renegade season, getting used to playing with new teammates from the incoming freshman class and any transfers that may come on board. They will be the new team leaders playing a twelve game fall schedule, which for the first time will be sponsored by Ohlone College. This will be when they mold the 2008 team that goes for a sixth straight CCND title and another trip to the state tournament in their quest for a California State Championship.

Sophomores Ang, Briones, Chan, Gonsalez, Ramos, Soderholm and Torres, will move on with the next phase of their lives. All seven have indicated they want to continue with their education at a four-year college or university while still playing softball and working part-time. All they need to do now is find a few hours in the day to study and sleep!

Meredith Ang, who is applying to Holy Names University (HNU) in Oakland, wants to be a teacher, physical education instructor and softball coach at her alma mater, Washington High School in Fremont. She also plans to help coach the Lady Renegades in the upcoming fall schedule.

"Peanut" Briones will attend University of Hawaii - Hilo, play softball and major in Administration of Justice. She has visions of becoming a Parole Officer, or maybe a "Bounty Hunter".

"Tiff" Chan is strongly considering Cal-State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) to continue her education. Holy Names and some east coast schools are also possibilities. She wants to major in kinesiology (sports medicine) while playing softball.

"Tina" Gonsalez also wants to study kinesiology and play softball. She is considering CSUMB, HNU, and an unnamed school in Ohio.

"Chika" Ramos is checking out University of West Georgia and Georgia State University, where she wants to major in Criminal Justice and later become a paralegal.

"Jess" Soderholm is another candidate to attend and play softball at CSUMB. Bethany University, Santa Cruz in Scotts Valley is another possibility. Her major will be Visual Communications which she hopes will land her a job in interior design. She also loves to work with kids so she might opt for a teaching credential and become an elementary school teacher.

Last, but not least, of the "Magnificent Seven" is "Rock" Torres. She is the fourth former Lady Renegade to want to play softball at CSUMB. Other schools on her list are San Jose, Sonoma and San Diego State Universities. Getting her teaching credential and working with Special Education children is how she wants to join the work force.

Special thanks go to Head Softball Coach Donna Runyon and her staff: Assistant Coach Mavis Pagett, Softball Adviser and former Assistant Coach Dave Villagas, Softball Adviser Bob Beristiano, Scorekeepers Michael Bogandorf and Jamie Cortez, Public Address Announcer Josh Hegland, and Scoreboard Operator Toshia Woodruff. Their time, efforts and unflagging cheerleading were invaluable to this year's seasonal success.

TCV thanks the Lady Renegades for an exciting and rewarding season. To all graduating student athletes, our best wishes, and for those returning next season, we look forward to another stellar performance in '08!

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