Natasha Watley poses with members of the Dorsey and View Park softball teams (Amanda Scurlock/ L.A. Sentinel)
Natasha Watley poses with members of the Dorsey and View Park softball teams (Amanda Scurlock/ L.A. Sentinel)

The View Park Knights softball team started their inaugural season this March. During their first game, two-time softball Olympian Natasha Watley threw the first pitch and was honored with a plaque by the school.

“It’s very, very good to see that we have two schools are out here in the inner city–Dorsey, View Park—and we have the girls out here competing, playing and having fun,” said View Park Athletic Director Robert Ambers.

The team’s first opponent was the Dorsey Dons, View Park lost to Dorsey 7-9.

“We have a good chemistry now,” said sophomore player Camille Taylor. “Playing against other high schools is more competitive than I thought it was.”

Students expressed interest in having a baseball and softball program and even created a petition to get the teams on campus. The organization Pitch in For Baseball supplied the school with bats, socks, and other equipment needs.

“We knew that if we gave students more opportunity, that would be a tool to ensure they will get engaged in their academics,” said school director Hurshel Williams.

Head coach Leesa Harris attended Westchester High School and went to California State University Fullerton on a softball scholarship.

The team recently defeated Washington Prep High School (0-2 overall) 7-1. Taylor, Janell Brown and freshmen catcher Sam Johnson earned two runs each, according to Max Preps.

“We did a pretty good job of being patient at the plate,” Harris said. “We scored four runs in the first inning.”

After their first game, they team felt more comfortable in a competitive setting.

“They focused on what they needed to work on so the next game, they wouldn’t make the same mistake,” said Johnson.

On March 8, the Knights played against the Bernstein Dragons (1-3 overall) and defeated them 6-1.

“Day by day, they’re showing us something different and since this is a new team, a lot of times they shock themselves,” said assistant coach Brittnei Price. “They do things that they didn’t know they can do.”