Long and Shorts of Westlake Softball

It can't be. Are those pants . . . on softball players?

The Westlake High softball team is bucking tradition and making a fashion statement after trading in its shorts for long pants this season.

Coach Darwin Tolzin, in his second year at Westlake, decided last summer after talking to college coaches and pants advocates Mike Candrea of Arizona and Margie Wright of Fresno State that the Warriors would be better suited with covered legs.

"It allows us to be more aggressive without getting scratches," Tolzin said. "I've got a lot of people diving [for balls] that I didn't think would ever dive."

Shorts are worn by most high school teams in the region. Likewise, West Coast college teams are rarely seen in pants.

But that doesn't seem to bother Tolzin. In fact, he believes he is a trendsetter.

"If we win [this season] you'll see a whole bunch of teams in long pants next year," he said.

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