Los Banos

Los Banos softball drops two to Central Catholic and Central Valley

The Los Banos High softball team lost twice this week – 10-0 to Central Catholic on Monday and 4-2 to Central Valley on Wednesday – and is taking a step back to do some soul-searching.

The Tigers, whose next game is Wednesday, are taking Thursday through Sunday off from softball.

“I told the girls yesterday, ‘We’re in a funk,’ so we have to figure out how to get out of the funk,” Los Banos coach Dustin Caropreso said. “They’re upset with losing the last two games, but like I tried to explain to them yesterday, good teams figure out how to get out of them.”

Los Banos trailed 2-0 to Central Valley early, but tied it in the third inning. But the Tigers failed to score with a runner in scoring position and no outs later in the inning. Meanwhile, a solid start by pitcher Brianna Flores went for naught.

“Part of it’s my fault, maybe, not bunting her over, but I’m trying to give my girls the confidence to swing the bat,” Caropreso said. “We’re in a grind right now, and the last thing I want to do is team pictures today, then practice today and tomorrow, then come back for practice Saturday and Monday. Let’s get rejuvenated sort of like the All-Star break, and come back Monday ready to go.”

The Tigers slipped out of second place in the Western Athletic Conference with the losses, falling behind Patterson, which went 1-1 this week with a loss to Pacheco and a win over Livingston. Every team except for Ceres (6-0) and Livingston (0-6) are withi two games of each other, which will make the second round of league play interesting.

“We finished the first half 4-2, and we started the second half 0-1,” Caropreso said. “If we go 4-2 in the second half, we’re fine.”

Taking a break from practice isn’t something Caropreso has done before.

“Right now, the good thing about it is we don’t play tomorrow,” he said. “We’re taking team pictures, then let’s get away from the softball field and see what we want to accomplish when we come back on Monday. I hate to say we’re must-win, but we need to win. I hate to put that kind of pressure on individuals who are only 15 and 16 years old, in some cases 14.

“Ask me next Friday and I’ll be able to give you a bigger picture if it works.”

Los Banos hosts Patterson on Wednesday and Central Catholic on Thursday.