Redwood comes up short against San Marin but remains proud of their season


Redwood huddles together after giving up three runs in the fifth inning during a playoff game against San Marin in Novato on Wednesday, May 8, 2019.

Jack Watson

On Wednesday night the cry of “One, two three, Giants!” rang out across the cool evening air, where parents and fans gathered to watch the Redwood varsity softball team face off against San Marin in the Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) semifinals. Redwood ultimately ended up losing 11-3, rendering their MCAL season officially over.

Senior Kama Kaleikini started the game off strong for the Giants with a leadoff double that bounced off the left field fence, followed by a walk for freshman Katie Connors. But Redwood was unable to bring in a run, which foreshadowed their struggles throughout the rest of the game. Redwood head coach Emily Atkinson explained the main reason for Redwood’s loss.

“We found it really hard to score runs. . . I think we left at least 10 runners on base without scoring,” Atkinson said.

The Giants’ offensive struggles came a week after stranding 15 runners on base in a one-run loss to Terra Linda

The battle between the teams was initially a close one that had both benches bursting with energy because of the playoff ramifications. Entering the bottom of the fifth inning the score was 4-3, but from there the Mustangs exploded with offensive power. They earned three runs in the fifth inning courtesy of a home run by junior Summer Lake, then another four in the sixth. Both San Marin’s offense and defense was led by Madison Papenhausen, who dominated by going four for four with two doubles and four RBI’s.

After the game, Papenhausen made sure to give credit to her teammates.

“The biggest thing that has made us successful is that we play for each other. We’ve learned the hard way that you can’t play this game for yourself, and it’s really a team effort,” Papenhausen said.

Redwood’s Katie Rose begins to take her lead during a playoff game against San Marin in Novato on Wednesday, May 8, 2019.

While Redwood was disappointed by the loss, both coaches and players remained positive about their season and accomplishments.

“We’ve really proved everyone wrong this year. No one thought we would do well because we lost a lot [of players] from last year and have a really young team,” Atkinson said.

11 out of Redwood’s 16 players were either freshman or sophomores, creating one of the youngest teams in MCAL. Kaleikini, who played her last MCAL game for Redwood, was also positive despite the loss.

“We definitely made playoffs, I think a lot of us weren’t expecting that. . . I think we had a good season overall,” Kaleikini said.

Kaleikini has been a member of the varsity team for two years, but this year she had to take on a much different role than in the past.

“This year I worked up to being a leader for the girls on the team, because we lost all those seniors last year and now I’m just trying to be a good role model for everyone,” Kaleikini said.

The Giants now turn their focus towards North Coast Sectionals (NCS), where they hope to earn a tournament bid.

“We have first round NCS so we just gotta come back and bounce back next week,” Kaleikini said.

Redwood finished the season with a 13-11 record, while the 17-4 Mustangs head into the MCAL title game against top-seeded Marin Catholic at 6:30 p.m. Friday at San Marin.