The last time San Marin’s historic softball program won the North Coast Section (NCS) Championship was nearly six years ago, led mainly by underclassmen. Now with the recent success of San Marin’s baseball team which made an NCS appearance last season, but lost against Cardinal Newman, the programs are looking towards a bright future.
Not only has the baseball team encountered success, but so have some of the players. There are a total of 3 scholarship offers on the team, two of which are Division One offers. Varsity Coach Jamie Vuatonne reflects on how he feels to see the student athletes he coaches succeed.
“We’ve been lucky to have a whole bunch of kids come through that have a real passion for baseball, and it’s great to see them play at a high level, it really makes coaching easy,” Vuatonne said.
Not only that, but young stars like sophomore Sean McGrath, who pitched a shutout against Petaluma High school in just his second regular season game, are just starting their young varsity career as well as sophomore second baseman Joey Cipollina, who had seven runs batted in and 14 hits last season on the freshman team. Cipollina is happy to play in San Marin’s up and coming program.
“I want to play at the next level, and I think San Marin can provide that. We have some really good talent and really good coaching,” Cipollina said.
The softball team on the other hand, is looking to restore its former glory this season. They won NCS championships in 2002, 2003, 2012, and 2017, and have more banners in San Marin’s gym than any other sport. They have made late playoff pushes in the past and are looking to do so again in the playoffs this year. Longtime varsity softball coach Liz Hartmann shares the similarities between this year’s team and winning teams prior.
“The team has a lot of fight and perseverance. If they lose, they look at it as an opportunity to learn. They are learning that the team is stronger than any one individual, and that makes them dangerous,” Hartmann said.
The softball team has young talent, but many seniors and juniors look forward to making a playoff push this year. Junior Shelby Atkinson, who had 12 hits and ten runs batted in and hits last season, hopes to make it to the championship in her junior year.
“We just need to rebuild and stop underestimating our opponents,” said Atkinson.