YOU ARE HERE: Burbank HomeCollections

Teams have the talent

Rule change moving the pitching rubber back three feet could affect squads, as Burroughs and Bell-Jeff look to defend league titles.

March 04, 2011|By Jeff Tully,
(File photo )

BURBANK — High school softball pitchers are getting used to dealing with a different dimension when it comes to their delivery to home plate.

This is the first season the pitching rubber has been moved back three feet to 43 feet, which will likely be a benefit for hitters. Area hurlers are adapting to the longer dimensions.

"We have had our pitchers throwing from 46 feet, so they can get used to pitching from a longer distance," Bellarmine-Jefferson High Coach John Castaneda said. "We want them to be ready."

First-year Burroughs Coach Doug Nicol said the new dimensions have taken some getting used to.

"Some people might not think three feet is really that much, but it's a lot when it comes to softball pitching," he said. "It is definitely going to benefit the hitters, and I think you're going to see more offense."

The Guards are Indians are both coming off league-championship seasons, and both look to have talented teams again this year. Providence returns the majority of its team, and Burbank is dealing with the graduation of a crop of starting players.


Here is a look at how the teams are shaping up.


Nicol takes over the reigns of Jose Valle, who coached the Indians (18-10) to the program's first league championship in 28 years, as they finished first in the Pacific League.

With a large group of returners and some talented newcomers, Nicol expects his team to again be successful.

"Our goal every year is to win a league title," said Nicol, a former Burroughs girls' basketball coach. "The girls have been working hard since I took over in August, and I think we have a talented group of players."

Nicol said junior pitcher Heather Haynes, an All-CIF Southern Section honoree last season, will begin the season on the junior varsity team. In 2010, Haynes was 11-5 with six shutouts in 16 games, striking out 106 and walking 29 in 109 innings.

Taking over the starting pitching duties is sophomore Haley Schulmam, who had an outstanding season last year on the Indians' junior varsity team. She helped lead Burroughs to a league title.

"Haley is a very good pitcher and she is super talented," Nicol said. "We expect her to step right in and do the job for us at pitcher."

Seniors Kayla Dally and Quinn Rodriguez, along with freshman, Kaitlin Brooks, could also see time in the circle.

A returner who Nicol has been impressed with is junior catcher Shannon Trujillo. Last season, the All-Area and all-league standout batted .365 with 17 runs scored and 16 runs batted in.

Burbank Leader Articles Burbank Leader Articles