With the end of softball comes the Western State Conference honors for the Pierce players. It is a time to recognize players for their hard work and officially close a curtain on the 2023 season.
This year, the Western State Conference post season honors included 1st Conference – Catcher Alexcia Espinoza, 2nd Conference – Pitcher Andrea Roldan, and two honorable mentions – Center Field Olivia Vasquez and Shortstop/Third Base Kaylie Zenan.
These honors were chosen based on game performance and contributions to the team throughout the season.
This season was the first time since 2019 that Pierce had a softball team, and even though the season ended with a score of 1-14, coach of the softball team Brett Marschall held this season and the players in high regards.
“Ultimately it was the growth in confidence and a growth in the belief that they could do this,” Marschall said. “I was very proud of the team and how we performed and how much we grew and developed as a team throughout the year. It’s one of our big success stories.”
Espinoza recalled how it felt when the honors were announced.
“It felt amazing because we put so much blood sweat and tears into playing this season,” Espinoza said. “It just made us stronger together.”
Espinoza also discussed her love for the sport and why she chose softball growing up.
“It’s what my life has revolved around since I was 4 years old,” Espinoza said. “There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than playing softball. It creates such a positive mindset for me.”
This was Roldan’s first year playing softball after a two year break in high school. She discussed her season with the team and how it helped her grow as a player.
“I think I gained a lot of patience and I gained a lot of understanding,” Roldan said. “We’re all gonna make mistakes and I learned a lot of patience with my teammates, but also with myself because I’m not excluded from that. I learned how to be patient with myself and my other teammates and just knowing that if we’re trying, that’s all I care about.”
Roldan first started playing softball with her family as a child, and gravitated towards the pitcher because of their strength.
“I started pitching because the pitchers always just seemed so strong to me, and so – for lack of a better term – badass,” Roland said. “And so I just kept pushing, I kept pushing and it got me somewhere. And being here this season just allowed me to fall back in love with softball again and reminded me why I played it for so long.”
Along with first and second conference honors, there were the two honorable mentions for two more players on the team.
Zenan was grateful for the opportunity to play with Pierce’s team this season and held her team in high regard.
“Getting to represent Pierce this season was very special to me,” Zenan said. “I’m so glad I could be a part of a program that hasn’t been together in four years. When I am playing, nothing else matters. It’s just me having fun with my best friends.”
Vasquez also received an honorable mention for the season for her performance as centerfield for the team.
Overall the season was held very highly by the team and the coach.
“Having a first year team was really a developmental year for a lot of us,” Marschall said. “I told the girls this is a real trailblazing year for us because this is a step to reestablishing softball at Pierce.”