Lady Eagles clinch playoff spot
Feather River’s Sonia Marin watches as the ball goes sailing over the fence during the first game of a double header the Eagles played against Lassen College on April 13. Marin not only got a homer, but also got four RBIs and two runs. The win over Lassen puts the Eagles into the first round of playoffs once the regular season is over. Photo by James Wilson
“To me, our final destination is the state tournament. We have to beat the best teams to get there,” said Feather River College’s softball coach Taylr Hollis after the team’s victories over Lassen College last Saturday.
The Lady Eagles dominated the Cougars in a double header, winning 12-2 and 11-2. The wins elevated the Eagles’ record to an impressive 15-3 in conference and 22-14 overall. Lassen dropped to 8-10 in conference and 15-22 overall.
Though Feather River previously swept Lassen earlier in the season, Hollis made sure her players didn’t enter the game too cocky.
“We didn’t have any expectations going into the game,” continued Hollis. “We basically just go out on the field every game and give it our all.”
This is Hollis’ first year as head coach of FRC’s softball team since Josh Taylor departed last year. Hollis worked the previous year as the team’s assistant coach.
Hollis has played softball her entire life. She started as a kid playing it with her friends in Ascension, La. After high school she played for the University of Oklahoma and Louisiana State University.
Eventually Hollis went on to get her masters in Athletic Administration at Mississippi College, close to Jackson. Once the position at FRC was floated, she jumped on the opportunity and moved to Quincy.
Hollis’ approach to coaching comes from an outlook and understanding of the women on her team. There are no professional leagues her players can eventually advance to, so the motivation to play has to come from a purer reason.
“These girls playing softball don’t have the MLB (Major League Baseball),” explained Hollis. “They don’t have the big check that they’re shooting for. That’s not what it’s about here. It’s really about the love of the game. That’s what I try to instill in these girls.”
The simple love of the game has taken the team far this season. With a winning record and team, the Eagles were able to walk all over Lassen last Saturday.
In both games, Feather River put runs on the board in the first inning that kept them ahead the remainder of the game. Similarly, both games only lasted six innings before they were called.
In the first game, the Eagles scored three runs in the first inning, two in the second, one in the fourth, two in the fifth and four in the sixth. The team hit especially well, going 14 for 26 at bat with five other batters walked.
Sonia Marin knocked one out of the park. Marin went three for four at bat to get four RBIs and two runs herself. Sami Prosser made the winning hit for the Eagles in the sixth inning. Prosser hit a walk-off double that put FRC ahead by more than eight to end the game.
The second game was much like the first. The Eagles scored four runs in the first inning, five in the third and two in the sixth. They went 15 for 26 for the game.
Bethany Clapper was on top of her game and went four for four with three runs and one RBI. Gabby Palmer hit well at three for four. Mariah lane hit a double in the second game that clinched the win for the Eagles.
The two wins were really big for FRC. By winning, the Eagles secured their position as second in the Golden Valley Conference. Shasta College is undefeated at 18-0 and will stay in the top spot.
The top two teams in the conference will continue to the regional playoffs once the regular season ends. Feather River will face Shasta this Saturday in yet another big series for the college.
The first game starts at noon and the second at 2 p.m. This will be the last home game for the Eagles this season.