Chaffey softball team must overcome weak conference

Chaffey College softball coach Jimmy Rodriguez was more than a little miffed last Wednesday when College of the Desert called to forfeit a game it was supposed to be play at Chaffey in two hours.

Panthers athletic director Bob Olivera forced the Roadrunners hand and refused to accept the forfeit, telling the school to pick another day, any day.

The schools originally agreed on Tuesday but Desert came up with another excuse on why that wasnt good. The schools finally settled on April 14th.

It turns out it isnt the first time Desert has tried that stunt. It forferited to Antelope Valley on March 5, saying it didnt have enough players. But it was able to play three games two days later at a tournament hosted by Golden West.

What makes bailing on the games a little fishy is that Antelope Valley (26-4, 9-0) is the top team in the conference and Chaffey (20-14, 7-1) is second.

The whole season has been a difficult one for Rodriguez who has a solid team but would make the playoffs by default just because of the Foothill Conference is so weak.  SBVC, Victor and Rio Hondo are a combined 17-63. Add in third place Mt. San Jacinto and it is a still-woeful 28-79. Barstow (0-27, 0-9) started the season with a team but folded. Victor Valley and San Bernardino Valley havent been competitive.

The former SBVC coach bailed in the fall and the only reason the Wolverines have salvaged a season is that soccer coach Kristin Hauge, who played softball at Cal Poly Pomona when it had a team, stepped in.

It has been tough, Rodriguez said. We want to try and be competitive in the postseason but this makes it very difficult and our conference in losing credability.

Rodriguez said it will be tough in the end of the season to dole out all-conference honors since Deserts individual numbers would be misleading if it hadnt played the top two teams.

He also thinks statistics for games against Barstow should be throw out since not everyone played them.