Varsity softball defeats Mills in victorious start to the season


Athena Bostonmaer

Junior Olivia Fleming crosses the home plate in Burlingame’s season opener against Mills High School on Friday, March 3.

Athena Bostonmaer, Staff Reporter

On March 3, the varsity softball team began its season with a dominant 13-0 win over Mills High School.

The game was scoreless until the third inning, when Burlingame knocked in two runs to get on the scoreboard. The team would ultimately find its groove in the sixth inning, scoring a remarkable 10 runs. 

“They started hitting the ball, and that’s what I want,” head coach John Saucedo said. “I want good contact [with the ball], and that’s what I got.”

Juniors Lily Grenier and Olivia Fleming both hit impressively to help seal the Panthers’ victory. Grenier went five-for-five at-bat, including 1 double and 2 RBIs, and Fleming hit one triple, one double and three RBIs.

Last season, the team struggled at times, featuring a roster with an underclassmen-heavy lineup. But with head coach John Saucedo’s emphasis on an enhanced and tough defense — and a productive off-season — the Panthers came to play on Friday afternoon. 

“We’ve improved as a team because we’ve been working on different club teams,” Fleming said. “Personally, my arm strength has improved.”

Burlingame wasn’t just dominant at the plate: junior Kasey Lyons pitched the entire game and delivered a shutout for the Panthers. Her pitches were fast and had spin, causing Mills to strike out numerous times.

“I’m happy because last year we struggled a lot, and this was a good way to start the season off,” Lyons said. “[Our win] is motivating going into the season.”

Throughout the week leading up to the game, it was raining and the field was closed off. However, Saucedo found ways to train and prepare the team.

“We’ve worked hard the last two weeks [despite] not having a field,” Saucedo said. “They worked hard inside the gym. We still did a lot of hitting and fundamental stuff.”

Saucedo’s training regimens combined with the players’ hard work ethic paid off, and will continue to as they look to build momentum before league play begins.  

“[We are] a well-balanced team where everyone can perform,” Saucedo said. “Everyone can contribute this year, and I’m not afraid to put anybody at certain positions.”