Watsonville High senior pitcher Marissa Martinez recorded three strikeouts for the Wildcatz softball team in its 7-2 loss to San Benito High in PCAL Gabilan Division play March 31. (Juan Reyes/The Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE—Leading up to their games, Watsonville High softball coach Scott Wilson likes to prepare the team for every scenario he can possibly think of.

But this particular group of Wildcatz is swimming in uncharted waters. 

They dropped to 0-4 in Pacific Coast Athletic League Gabilan Division play after a 4-0 loss to Gilroy High on Thursday afternoon.

“We played some tough competition already, so it’s not like it was any more tougher than what we’ve faced,” Wilson said. “You kind of expect to compete. We know we’re in a tough league, we’re going to play some tough games but we don’t let that get in front of us.”

Watsonville was coming off a crushing 9-0 loss to Notre Dame of Salinas on Tuesday afternoon.

The Spirits (11-4, 5-0) are one of the two favorites to win the league title.

Watsonville also lost to San Benito (8-5, 4-1)—the other front-runners for a league title—in the teams’ first meeting on March 31.

“They were swinging and they were making contact,” said senior pitcher Marissa Martinez. “Our defense didn’t execute. Especially me as a pitcher, I take accountability too because it all starts with pitching.” 

Wilson said there were some plays that got away from them and indecisions such as not knowing where to go.

“Those are the things that we work on,” he said. “And they got the timely hits, so you couple that with some of the extra basses that we gave up … that’s kind of the way it goes.” 

The ’Catz after coming off a championship season in which they won the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League and Central Coast Section Division I titles.

Martinez said they came into this season playing a little timid, especially because some of the players are getting used to playing new positions. 

She added that these losses have been very humbling and the PCAL Gabilan is stacked with powerhouse teams. 

“Last year we had a very successful season and we have the potential, and talent, to be so good this season,” Martinez said. “I think for a lot of us, we’re just playing scared.”

The ’Catz have also felt the effects of losing Maliyah Sandin, Anastacia Alba, Tea Villalta, Irie Lerma and Maya Guerrero—a group of seniors from last year’s team that helped them capture both the league and CCS championships. 

“We just gotta get better and they gotta get better at what you can do,” Wilson said. “Take care of that and you’ll have a chance.”

Martinez said it’s still early in the season and they’ll just have to work twice as hard to get back into the mix of things. 

“Next practice, we’re going to be on it,” she said. “We take a lot of accountability for what we do. And we take what our coaches tell us not really personal, but personal. We just use that as motivation.”

Martinez said she admits they’re not playing like a team as they should be and they’ve also been making some errors during the game. She mentioned that many of the players are still learning but they shouldn’t use that as an excuse.

“It takes practice and at the rate our practices are going, we’ll come back stronger,” she said.

The Wildcatz (8-6, 0-4) will host Christopher High (2-8, 0-3) on Tuesday at 4:30pm. 

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A Watsonville native who has a passion for local sports and loves his community. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College, San Jose State University and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumnus, he primarily covers high school athletics, Cabrillo College athletics, various youth sports in the Pajaro Valley and the Santa Cruz Warriors. Juan is also a video game enthusiast, part-time chef (at home), explorer and a sports junkie. Coaches and athletic directors are encouraged to report scores HERE.


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