Belmont high school softball coach chases 1,000 wins

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The winningest softball coach in California history, a man who's run the program at Belmont's Carlmont High School since 1976, is on the cusp of 1,000 wins. (KGO-TV)

A high school team on the Peninsula is on the cusp of a milestone.

"We are girls but we play hard," said one softball player.

That's the tradition at Carlmont High School after 28 league championships.

"You are expected to win and you are expected to have this poise when you're playing and be very sportsmanlike," said senior Jacey Phipps.

They expect the best on Jim Liggett field.

"Well, you put on one pant leg at a time whether you're a legend or not," said Liggett.

You're looking at the coach who's run this program since 1976, now on the cusp of 1,000 wins. The team is at 999 right now.

When asked if he ever thought he'd get there, Liggett said, "I never worried about it."

The timing would be perfect, however, for the winningest softball coach in California history.

He leaves behind a legacy of roughly half his players moving onto college rosters. Forty have received scholarships.

It's been a long road for a former professional baseball player.

"You been there as long as I have, you win to win some games, right?" he said with a laugh.

Liggett has been coaching at Carlmont since 1967. He began with boy's baseball then football. The girls and softball came later and they did require some adjustments.

"They cry a lot more," he said. "I think my first year I had everyone on the team crying."

Not anymore, or so we hear.

"He's calmed down in his older age," said one player

Another added, "It's tough love."

The only way they know how to play, same old same old, one more time around the infield.

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