For Sandies sisters, softball is all in the family
May 4, 2010 at 12:04 a.m.
PORT LAVACA - For the Calhoun Sandies, softball is a family affair.
Senior pitcher Cecilia Castillo, who has spent the season making short work of batters, pitches to her younger sister, sophomore catcher Tiffany, who has spent the season mashing balls out of the park.
On top of that, their coach on the Sandies is their father, Daniel.
"My dad's been my coach since I was little, so it just feels natural having him as my coach in high school," Cecilia said. "He's taught me a lot. He basically taught us how to hit, catch and throw since I was little. This season, he's pushed us hard to come to practice and work hard."
Their father has been their coach since they were little, coaching some of their teams and helping them improve.
"It's been good, because you can always work with them at home," said the coach for the Sandies. "There's that extra time, and not get in trouble with the UIL, and I can always work with them all the time. But they help each other out, work with each other and compete against each other."
After finishing in second place to Corpus Christi Moody in District 30-4A with a record 28-7 overall and 10-2 in district, the Sandies won their opening round series against Pleasanton in three games. They open their area round series at Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway on Friday.
Much of their success can be credited to the Castillo sisters, and several other key players like second baseman Rilea Whitaker and center fielder Naomi Trevino.
Both Cecilia and Tiffany Castillo drive in runs from the middle of the order, with Tiffany adding 10 home runs this season, including a three-run blast against Pleasanton in Game 2 on Saturday. Both sisters are batting over .500 this season.
Cecilia's pitching has been equally important, as she has stymied hitters, posting an ERA under 1 for the season and striking out 336 batters in 35 games. The senior pitcher is heading to Sam Houston State next year on a scholarship.
The decision to go there was a no-brainer, she said.
"I got offered Sam Houston this summer, and I really love it up there," Cecilia said. "It's small and big at the same time. I like the coaches and the players, so, when I went up there I pretty much knew that was where I wanted to play.
"After the middle of this year, I decided that's pretty much decided that's what I wanted."
Tiffany has been against older players since she was 11, Coach Castillo said, with the point of keeping the sisters on the same team.
"She's been around playing 18-and-older to stay with her sister," he said.
Tiffany said her approach at the plate hasn't changed too much from her freshman year to this year. She said she hit nine home runs last year.
"I've basically been doing the same thing this year and last year," she said.
Tiffany said playing for her father is easy because the expectations don't need to be said. The two sisters and her father have been around the game so long it doesn't need repeating.
"Everybody thinks it's rough, but actually it's kind of fun because I've been playing with my sister since I was three or four, and my father has been a coach since I was three or four, and they've taught me everything," Tiffany said.
Coach Castillo said there are added perks to coaching his own daughters at Calhoun.
Other Calhoun players stepped up this season. Trevino switched from batting on the right side of the plate to the left this season and moved to second in the lineup, and became a slap hitter. The motivation for the shift, she said, was because of her speed.
"It's been really difficult, I barely got it down by the end of the season," she said about hitting left side.
One of the big changes from last year to this year has been the addition of two freshman starters - Darian Sanchez and Brittany Dworacyzk - to the lineup, Trevino said. In addition, she has two new companions in the outfield.
"Playing with two freshman on the team, you got to hope that they live up to the standards of what the other girls were," said the senior centerfielder. "And having two new girls in the outfield, it's a big change, and you have to learn how to deal with it."
Trevino said Coastal Bend College has expressed interest in having her play softball, and will be visiting in the next few weeks.
Cecilia said the team has rallied together since the start of the season, and all of the players are comfortable playing with each other and adjusted to one another.
"We started off a little slow, but now we are coming together more now, and playing harder together," Cecilia said. "All our freshman are comfortable now and all the younger girls that hadn't been on varsity yet are comfortable."