Girls’ softball closes off the season with a devastating loss against Grace Brethren on a night set to honor the seniors
On the afternoon of April 27, 2023, red and black balloons lined the packed bleachers at Ventura College as the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) girls’ softball team got ready to play their final game of the season against the Grace Brethren High School (Grace Brethren) Lancers. Enthusiasm intermixed with vigorous cheers swept the field the entire game on a night set to honor the team’s seniors: Linda Manzo ‘23, Jasmine Guzman ‘23 and Danielle Bishop ‘23.
With a record of 13-7 overall, Foothill Tech began in the field at the top of the first inning with Bishop up to pitch. The Lancers managed to gather three runs before Bishop was able to end their success.
In the bottom of the first inning, the Dragons went up to bat holding hopes to close the gap with the Lancers. First in the batter’s box was Guzman. Thundering claps of the crowd erupted as the commentator announced, “Jasmine the goofy goober is up next.” With intense focus, Guzman hit the ball and ran to first base for a leadoff single.
Up next was Izzy Rodriguez ‘26. After two initial strikes, Rodriguez was able to hit a single to join Guzman on the bases.
The following at bat, Bishop hit the ball in between first and second base where an infield Lancer failed to stop the play before the bases were loaded.
We are always messing around and having a blast at practice, but when it really mattered we were able to be serious.”
— Danielle Bishop '23
Lauren Fossati ‘25 capitalized on the golden opportunity and slammed the ball in the outfield past the Lancers gloves.
Running home, Guzman and Rodiguez touched home plate first and in perhaps the most thrilling moment of the night, Bishop slid face first into the dirt with both of her arms extended, the Lancers inches behind her. After tying up the score, the Dragons struck out, leading the top of the second inning.
Unfortunately for the Dragons, they were unable to secure any runs from the second to seventh inning and the Lancers stormed out into the lead, leaving the score at 13-3.
In the bottom half of the final inning, the first two batters struck out with Guzman up to bat as the Dragons last and final hope to score any points, Guzman drove the ball into the outfield. Every eye on the field watched as the ball was inches away from traveling out of the park, but the Lancers outfield made the catch to end the game.
“A moment when I got more sentimental was when I got the last hit of the game, it was kind of surreal thinking that this would be my last hit ever,” stated Guzman.
Despite the hard loss, it was time to celebrate the three who were voted “best trio” by the senior class, Manzo, Guzman and Bishop, in their final high school softball game.
With family, friends and teammates surrounding them, the seniors made one last run around the bases, a symbolic gesture of their high school career coming to an end.
After their final run across the bases, the softball team created an aisle with their bats hanging high up in the air. Each senior was announced by the commentator and walked down with their parents.
Bishop stated that her favorite part of the Foothill Tech softball team was, “how much it feels like a family.”
Even with a tough loss, the Dragons were able to end the day with a night full of celebration towards the sport that they were able to play throughout their memorable high school career.