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SPORTS COLUMN: A season mired by miscues

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The Riverside City College softball team takes an at bat with bases loaded. The Tigers’ season was below expectations but the team showed glimpses of success. (Mathew Acosta | Viewpoints)
By Xavier Constantino

The Riverside City College’s softball team started its season with a win against Long Beach City College. It looked like the team could upset higher ranked schools and have a decent year.

Then came five straight losses. Hope diminished. Unfortunately for the Tigers, this was a common occurrence during the long 40 game season. 

Riverside finished the season with an overall record of 15-25 and a conference record of 7-14, placing sixth in the Orange Empire Conference. 

The Tigers would grind out a win and maybe start a small streak. But a multi-game losing streak followed. 

Why was this?

A combination of a struggling offense and a large number of errors by the defense contributed to the disappointing season. 

The offense couldn’t put up runs consistently. When it did, errors would ruin the team’s chances of winning. When comparing the Tigers offensive stats to their opponents, RCC was behind in every major category. More specifically hits, runs and RBIs . Defensively, Riverside coughed up nearly double the amount of errors as its opponents did out of a total 347 attempts made by the defense. 

RCC’s games followed a pattern during the season. 

When the Tigers would be in the lead of the game, the team would give up free runs because of the errors. There were never any shutdown innings. This added pressure to the entire RCC team. Added pressure to the offense to score runs, added pressure for the pitching staff to shut down batters and added pressure to the defense to make every single play that would come their way. 

However, you must acknowledge that it was not a normal season for the Tigers. There were many points during the season where games had to be rescheduled due to inclement weather or poor field conditions. That forced the team to play doubleheaders. Not to mention focusing on academics off the field. 

The team didn’t get too harsh on itself for the mistakes made during the season, and instead looked back on the mistakes to understand what needed to be worked on that would help the team move forward. 

While RCC may not have high expectations for the 2024 season, there is a sense of hope that the team can work on what can be improved to make the team a serious contender.

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