Coyotes Head Coach Expects Tournament Play; Cites Good Chemistry


Andrea Vasquez/San Jacinto College Marketing, Public Relations and Government Affairs Department

Head Coach Kelly Saenz points to a trio of powerhouse Sophomores, including Samantha Martinez (pictured), to lead the team into post season play.

Softball season is in full swing and Head Coach Kelly Saenz finds herself in the middle of her 16th season at the helm of the San Jacinto College Coyotes coming off a four-game losing streak against Blinn College and sporting an overall record of 24-23, 7-7 in conference.

However, Saenz said the players are a hard-working group that shows much promise adding, “the team chemistry is very good.” Moreover, she said she sees her job as not limited to merely making her players better athletes but to make them better students and better for the community.

On the field, Saenz points to three players that stand out as team leaders: Samantha Martinez, Dominque Garcia, Michelle Kristoff. She credits the three sophomores for working hard to galvanize the team when a game is not going their way.

Martinez and Garcia are batting .361 and .404 respectively, with Garcia garnering two home runs and 36 RBIs and Martinez with six home runs and 45 RBIs.

Likewise, Kristoff is one of the best pitchers on the roster having made 27 appearances with 21 starts and ten complete games. So far, she won 12, lost 7, and threw 105 strikeouts with 123.1 innings pitched.

Saenz said their strength is that they never give up and are ready to compete at any moment, but they have a vulnerability.

“A weakness in this team would have to be consistency,” she said.  

Going forward, Saenz said she sees the Coyotes getting past their losing streak and getting a fresh start in the National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) Region XIV tournament.

“I expect this team to get better and play their game and make the tournament where you’re basically starting a new,” she said. “The records are 0-0.”

The Coyotes’ next game is today at Coastal Bend College at 2 p.m.