To put it into context, the last time Corona del Mar’s girls softball team walked off the field having won a league game, George W. Bush still resided in the White House.
After closing out the 2008 season with a win over University, the Sea Kings proceeded to lose their next 80 league contests, an eight-year stretch of 0-10 showings in the Pacific Coast League. Many of those games ended early because of the mercy rule.
The county’s longest league losing streak officially came to an end Wednesday when Corona del Mar, under first-year coach Jordann Wakabayashi, got the proverbial monkey off its back with a 7-6 come-from-behind victory against Beckman in the team’s PCL opener.
“I didn’t realize how big that win was going to be until we got there,” said Wakabayashi, who was an assistant coach with Corona del Mar for two years before stepping into the managerial role. “The thing with this team is they’re very different all-around from the last two years. The makeup is different.”
It starts with the experience. The Sea Kings trot out four senior starters in the infield – Raise Finley at first, Kira Delgadillo at second, Brooke Franson at shortstop and Lauren Oberreiter behind the plate. Junior Mallory McCrane moved from center field to the pitching circle after an injury sidelined projected starter Audrey Tumberello, and McCrane has faired well.
After going 2-20 in 2016 and 5-19 the year before that, the Sea Kings are currently 9-6, tied for the most wins the program has had since a 13-win season in 2007.
“With this group, I felt like it was possible,” Wakabayashi said of ending the league losing streak. “We have more skill than we’ve had in the past and a little bit more experience too. They’ve just been working hard in practice. We got them into the weight room in the offseason and they got stronger. We’ve been hitting the ball a lot harder. Everything has been falling into place.”
Franson, one of the few travel ball players on the…