Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009 | 11:30 p.m.
After posting a 11-2-2 record in the spring league of the Henderson Girls Softball Association, the 12-and-under Red Sox went undefeated in the fall to capture the league championship.
The girls posted a 13-0-2 record in the season that ended last month, and coach Jim Marlett said it was team effort that helped the Red Sox become successful.
"I know all coaches say, 'it was a team effort,' but these girls really did play very well as a unit," Marlett said. "We had girls of varying ability but no one girl became more important than any other. We just had solid team play and that worked very well for us."
Shortstop Kacey Ochoa, a Searchlight resident, embodied that team-first spirit, Marlett said, making every game and practice despite the excessive travel time. Henderson is about a 100-minute round-trip drive from Searchlight.
On the field, Marlett said Ochoa provided a solid glove to support the outstanding pitching from starting pitchers Hailey Schulz and Brandy Marlett, his daughter.
"Pitching was a key factor for us," the coach said. "Both of those girls threw very hard but they also had a variety of pitches. They hit their marks consistently and kept our opponents at a distinct disadvantage."
Brandy, a seventh-grader at Mt. Olive Lutheran School, said the strain of trying to remain undefeated never got to the Red Sox.
"We felt pretty confident in ourselves and just played our best," Brandy said. "It's pretty amazing (to be undefeated). Some games we felt like we were under pressure because we played some good teams but not because we put pressure on ourselves."
Hailey, an eighth-grader at Henderson International School, credited the coaches for preparing them for the rigors of the season.
"Our coaches are amazing," Hailey said. "We didn't necessarily have the best girls in the league but we stayed together. We really played as a team and worked hard and that made us better. We didn't get cocky and never thought it would be easy. ."
Jared Harmon can be reached at 990-8922 or [email protected].