|Kibbe, RC girls softball team on a hot streak
The first half of the season couldn’t have gone any better for the Rancho Cotate girls’ softball team, going 10-1 overall and dominating its competition.
Rancho Cotate took a 5-0 North Bay League record into its game with Cardinal Newman on Thursday, April 19. Details of the game can be found at www.thecommunityvoice.com.
While the credit for the success of the team must go to all of the players and coaches, one player in particular has led the team both on and off the field.
Katy Kibbe has shown exactly why her coach, Dave Johnson, has so much faith in the senior. Kibbe is hitting .458 with five home runs and 14 RBIs in the first 10 games. But that’s half the story. Kibbe has been equally as stellar on the mound with a 1.40 ERA in 55 innings pitched.
“Katie Kibbe has been the biggest part of our success so far,” said Johnson. “She starts in the circle and does a great job every time out.”
Between Kibbe and Keilani Fronda, the Cougars’ second pitcher, Rancho Cotate has been able to outplay all but one of its opponents.
“Kibbe usually bats third and Fronda fourth, and between the two of them we have been able to score pretty consistently,” said Johnson.
While success has come easily so far for the Cougars, Johnson knows that if they want to reach their ultimate goal, much work still lies ahead.
“We still have a few things we need to work on the rest of the season,” Johnson said. “Our short game needs to get better, we have to get better at bunting. We have been really working on that and our hitting has really started to come on recently.”
A team like this doesn’t come around often for a head coach, and Johnson knows they have the chance to have a very special end to the season.
“Our view is we want to win the league and go to the NCS Championship,” said Johnson. “All it takes is you play your best softball at the right time and that can happen. The most important games we have left are against Santa Rosa and Maria Carillo.”
While the league games against Santa Rosa and Maria Carillo may be the most important games left for the Cougars’ playoff chances, Johnson has a personal challenge he is hoping to take care of before the season is over.
“The school that would be our biggest competition is Petaluma High,” said Johnson. “We were supposed to play them earlier in the year, but it got rained out. We want to reschedule them, but it’s going to be tough. They won NCS last year, so it would be a good indicator of where we stand.”
If the Cougars are going to accomplish their goals, the majority of the burden will fall on Kibbe to lead them there, and Johnson thinks she has given every indication she is up for the job.
“Katy has pitched really well this year,” Johnson said. “She has learned how to pitch, the ins and outs of it. If she keeps going like she is, she may win MVP of the league and top pitcher and hitter in the area.”
Kibbe took another step in that direction on Tuesday in Santa Rosa when she pitched a two-hit shutout against Montgomery in the Cougars’ 3-0 victory. She also belted a home run and drove in two runs. Taylor Haug added to the offense with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate, while Courtney Zaccagna had a double.