The Warriors are coming off a 19-9 loss to Pojoaque Valley on Friday. 
Cathy Cook | El Defensor Chieftain photos

Although the Socorro softball team’s season hasn’t exactly started off the way the coach had hoped, expectations remain high things will turn around soon.

The Warriors are coming off a 19-9 loss to Pojoaque Valley on Friday with bats obviously in fine form.

“We started out hot,” coach Juan Alvarado said. “We always start out real hot, hitting their ball here and there, taking care of business and advancing runners. But little by little, we lose focus and can’t finish the plan.”

The game started out well enough as after two innings Socorro held a 6-4 lead. But the second inning was the only one in which the Warriors were able to hold the Elkettes scoreless.

And while Socorro managed three runs over the remaining five innings, Pojoaque was able to amass 15 to put the game out of reach.

“One of the biggest problems is defensively,” Alvarado said. “That’s something we have to work on. We do that every day. Hopefully we can improve on that.”

The team is focused on the basics, like fielding and throwing. They have plenty of time to work on that, as they don’t play again until April 7.

It is mainly the basics the team needs to fix, he said, like fielding and throwing and the Warriors (0-2) have plenty of time to work on that as they don’t play again until April 7.

“It’s the fundamentals,” Alvarado said. “I’m working on those daily as we go situational. That’s all that we can do, and they perform the rest.”

A big issue, he said, is the players don’t get a chance to play together year-round like many top-flight programs around the state do.

It would help tremendously, Alvarado said, if he could find a league in Las Cruces or Albuquerque where the players could play Saturday doubleheaders during the summers.

Cobre is the big dog in District 3-3A and in Class 3A mainly because the players there are able to play summers, he said, and that’s the model Alvarado is targeting for his program.

“For the season, we have to battle against Cobre to challenge for that district championship,” he said. “I am worried about T or C (Hot Springs) and Hatch Valley, but the main one is Cobre. The big difference is that summer league that they have. They keep those kids together and fine tune them all through their high school years.”

While the Warriors lost three starters from last season’s state playoff team, this year they are going to be relying on returning senior starters like Marisa Herrera, who led the team in hitting at .308, pitcher/middle infielder Chailynn Amado and centerfielder Felicity Otero.

“They’re going to carry us,” Alvarado said. “They’re doing a heck of a job right now. They need to be disciplined at home plate and focus on anticipating on whatever play comes their way.”

On the hill, the coach is still working on a reliable rotation.

“The pitching, they’re finding their rhythm, their mechanics and their release points,” he said. “It’s coming together.”

Glen Rosales for El Defensor Chieftain