The Crenshaw Softball team (Courtesy of Ennis Powell III)
The Crenshaw Softball team (Courtesy of Ennis Powell III)

The Crenshaw softball team came off their first season of competing at the division I level since head coach Ennis Powell III took the helm. With a 7-6 overall record and a 6-6 record in the Coliseum league, the cougars missed the playoffs.

During this season, members of the team developed a better cohesion with one another and learned how to compete in a higher level. The promotion caused players to lack conviction, but Powell III continued to reassure the team.

“Now we have to do a lot more coaching, a lot more instruction, a lot more work in order to get everybody prepared for what we’re about to do,” Powell III said.

The cougars thrived in division II play last season. Beating the Harbor Teacher Monarchs (15-15 overall, 10-2 Coliseum League) gave Crenshaw the top seed in the playoffs.

“We got past the first game, which was a great, great game, a great way to start off the playoffs,” Powell III said. “Went to the second game and pretty much, we couldn’t get out of one inning and that lost us the game.”

The softball team also had different family ties this season. Freshmen right fielder Daisy Nuno had an older sister who played under Powell III. Senior Maya Powell is the daughter to the head coach.

The season came with its share of victories. Crenshaw defeated Dorsey in both their meetings. Their first win was a devastating 22-7 rout, while the Dons rallied in the second to lose 16-17 to the Cougars.

“Every time we played Dorsey, it’s always intense,” senior Christina Orozco. “The first game is just like a normal game, but usually the second time around, we’re just like head to head with each other.”

Sophomore shortstop Hazelyn Gotay scored three home runs this season. Her hard work earned her the second baseman position as a freshman. Gotay dedicated herself to learning the fundamentals of the position, which led her to become shortstop.

A role model of Gotay is senior Kaitlyn Elzie; Gotay admired her energy displayed during practice.

“When I don’t know something, I ask her how to do it because she’s more experienced,” Gotay said. “She would actually help me get through stuff when it’s hard.”

Nuno played for the varsity squad because of her athleticism. Nuno recalls getting her first out when she played second base.

“The first basemen missed the ball, I went after it and I had to step on the base to get the person out and I did,” Nuno said. “Everybody was cheering my name.”