Soquel softball trying to follow lead of volleyball, basketball team

In the fall, the Soquel High girls volleyball team won its first-ever Central Coast Section title.

In the winter,  the Soquel girls basketball team accomplished as much, winning the first-ever CCS title for the program.

Today, the Soquel softball team can follow suit. The Knights will play Santa Catalina at 10 a.m. at San Jose’s PAL Stadium, in what will be Soquel’s first-ever appearance in the CCS title game.

Not a bad year for the collective female athletes at Soquel High. It’s not unprecendented; Palo Alto had a similar streak of section titles just last year. What is particularly crazy, though, is that the championship-winning teams at Soquel High aren’t made up of the same handful of athletes.

Ragine Graves and Madison Rocha played for both the volleyball and basketball teams. Faith Apolskis was on the volleyball team and the softball team. Annalise Bryant, meanwhile, played for the basketball team and the softball team.

That’s about the extent of crossover among the athletes (apologies to those I missed). My point is, there aren’t four or five super-athletes at Soquel who are crushing it and leading the Knights to section title after section title. There is, for the most part, a different collection of athletes who are doing this instead.

Of course, those who do crossover are using their prior CCS-title experience for good.

“I just try to keep reminding the girls that it is possible and that we are in a position to win, even if we are a small school like Soquel,” said Bryant, a senior center fielder who’s relaying her past basketball experiences to teammates. “It’s almost a sense of encouragement to show the girls how far we’ve come and the amount of work we’ve put in to make it this far.

“It makes it easier to deal with the pressure, I guess you’d say. But it makes you want it that much more. Softball is my first sport, so …”

So Bryant wants to win today’s game that much more. Being a senior, well, what a way to go out athletically — win or lose.

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