Carson High softball looks to be strong again
The Carson High softball team remains undaunted when it comes to having high expectations in what again is expected to be a tough Northern 4A Division.
And the Senators shouldn’t be intimidated at all after advancing to the Northern 4A semifinals last season. And with most of its team back from last year, the expectations are as high as ever for CHS.
“The expectations are high for the team and the expectations of our girls are high as well,” Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia said.
Mendeguia knows the North is as tough as ever and CHS will get a taste of what it’s up against when it faces defending state champion Spanish Springs on Saturday in a scrimmage.
There’s also rival Douglas, who returns a strong nucleus from a team that finished a close second to Spanish Springs in the Northern 4A playoffs. “Douglas went toe-to-toe with Spanish Springs,” Mendeguia said.
Carson faces a gauntlet to open up Northern 4A play as it opens with four playoff contenders. CHS will open with McQueen, which Mendeguia says has strong pitching. Then comes traditional power Reed, Spanish Springs and Reno, another traditional power. There’s also at least two other strong teams, Manogue and Damonte Ranch, to throw in to the mix.
“We’ve got a pretty tough go right out of the chute,” Mendeguia said. “All the teams on the schedule are tough.”
Carson returns nine players from last year’s team who were significant contributors: sophomore Amaya Mendeguia, junior Kailee Luschar, sophomore Kedra Luschar, senior Kassidy Cooley, junior Alex Salceido, junior Camryn Quilling, senior Jailene Salciedo, sophomore Taylor Murphy and sophomore Lauren Hawkins.
CHS lost just two players who were significant contributors to last year’s team in Nicole Brown and Lauren Lemburg. Three freshmen are joining the 13-player roster — Kennedy Redican, Caydee Farnworth and Shannon Vonduering. There’s also the return of Bella Kordonowy, who missed last season with a knee injury.
Carson was strong offensively last year and should be again this season, returning seven players who hit above .300 last year: Quilling, .325; Mendeguia, .337; Kailee Luschar, .462; Cooley, .408; Kedra Luschar, .500; Murphy, .364; Salciedo, .486. Salciedo also hit seven home runs and Kailee Luschar also stole 22 bases last season.
“We’ve got great team speed,” coach Mendeguia said. “We can play long ball, small ball.”
Alex Salciedo was the starting catcher last season and returns behind the plate. Redican could also see time behind the plate.
The Senators have plenty of options in the infield as Mendeguia says he has numerous players who can play different positions. There’s also options at shortstop where Kailee Luschar started last season and Kordonowy can play shortstop as well. Quilling is a leading returning outfielder as she played center and left field and she can play infield as well.
Jailene Salciedo returns as the No. 1 pitcher. Salciedo was 16-12 with a 4.40 earned run average last year against Northern 4A competition that was stocked with outstanding hitters. Salciedo struck out 101 in 160.2 innings.
It’s hoped Salciedo won’t have to put in that many innings this year as No. 2 pitcher Murphy also returns and freshmen Farnworth and Vonduering should also see time on the mound. “We’re much deeper on the mound this year which is going to be a huge asset,” coach Mendeguia said.
Carson will open the season in a tournament in Roseville, Calif., on March 7.
“We’re really happy with our versatile athletes,” Mendeguia said. “We’re pretty excited with what we can do with these girls this year.”