Softball wins MCAL in undefeated season

The 2017 North Coast Section Division III champion Girls Varsity Softball team defended their title with an undefeated 2018 season and Marin County Athletics League (MCAL) championship. The team is 22-0 overall, with a 16-0 regular season record in MCAL. The team has held their opponents to zero runs in 15 out of their 22 games this season. The Mustangs have scored 176 runs and only allowed 12 runs all season.
The feeling of winning is cherished among the team, but not just because they have beaten their opponents.
“We know we played for each other and when that shows on the field it’s always an indescribable feeling,” Junior Sierra Fischer said.
The team is coached by Liz Hartman, who has been coaching at San Marin for the past thirteen years. Hartman believes that the girls have a strong work ethic and that they work hard everyday to get better. The team practices five days a week, along with up to three games. Hartman knows the players remember their two losses last year, including their loss in the MCAL championship game to Redwood, and use it as motivation every day. Winning doesn’t mean everything to Hartman; she says a day doesn’t go by where she doesn’t smile while coaching.
“I’m proud just to be able to go out there and coach this group to be the best team and group of girls they can be,” Hartman said. “I want them all to succeed and have fun while doing it, and if we win championships while doing that then that’s the icing on the cake.”
According to Hartman, the team is full of star players who contribute to their continuous wins. Sophomore Alexis Bishop, who has verbally committed to UC Berkeley, has hit 11 home runs and has a batting average of .614. In addition to Bishop, University of Utah softball commit sophomore Madison Papenhausen is hitting a .596 and has hit four home runs at the plate, while driving in 24 runs. On the mound, Papenhausen has a league-leading 0.34 earned run average, meaning she allows an average of less than one run each full game she pitches, which lasts seven innings. She has struck out 134 batters, and has thrown three no-hitters where she did not allow a hit to her opponents.
In addition to their skill, the girls have a bond which contributes to their wins.
“[The team is] so special and unique in that we have such a tight-knit group of girls who are unbelievably talented on the field and so fun to be around,” sophomore Summer Lake said. “What really puts us apart is that not only is our team really skilled softball-wise, but the fact that we’re all so close, it’s like playing with your best friends or sisters.”
The softball team defeated the Redwood Giants by a score of 2-0 in a rematch of last year’s MCAL championship, in which the Mustangs lost to Redwood in a 2-0 finish. The team is currently the number one seed in the NCS Division II playoffs and looks to add another championship to their season.