As much as fielding a team, the 2019 softball season for coach Roxanne Curiel and her West Oso High Lady Bears is about starting to build a program.
With a 12-player roster that features several underclassmen, the Lady Bears are clearly learning on the job this year and Curiel is already seeing the progress.
“We’re always looking and working to improve,” Curiel, in her first season with the Corpus Christi based school, told Texas Scorecard. “I would say we’re already a different and better team than what we were at the start of the year.”
A big part of the barometer Curiel uses focuses on her team’s mental approach to the game.
“I’m always stressing how important having the right mindset is,” Curiel added. “When you’re rebuilding a program, you may not see the results you want every day, but having the right mindset and the right approach to the game is something you can always be building on.”
With a core of junior pitcher Jasmine Caldwell, sophomore infielder Hailey Calamaco and senior first basemen Isabelle Ramirez, the Lady Bears are off to a 4-8 start this season while still looking for their first win in 4A Region IV District 31 play.
Curiel describes Caldwell, the team’s top starting pitcher, as virtually unshakeable.
“No matter what, she seems able to keep her composure and that gives the other girls’ confidence,” she added.
Meanwhile, Calamaco has blossomed into one the best hitters and defenders, with both her and Ramirez saluted as having emerged as two of the team’s “unquestioned leaders.”
While Curiel describes her team as still a work in progress, she adds she like the direction of where they’re headed.
“We’re getting better and understanding more what the things are we have to do to get to where we want to be,” she said. “You can really see and sense the improvement.”