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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 22, 2010

Lady Bulldogs lose a close one in extra innings

By Jordan J. Michael

BERNE –– The Berne-Knox-Westerlo softball team is trying to identify its strengths and weaknesses.

After Monday’s 5-to-4 loss to Schoharie at home in extra innings, Head Coach Mike Reynolds thinks his team might have to hit the batting cages a little harder.

“This is very early for us,” said Reynolds after the game. The Lady Bulldogs are 1-2 with a win over Sharon Springs. “We need to spend more time batting against different types of pitches. The pitchers in our league are either fast or slow and we have a tough time adjusting.”

BKW went up against Schoharie pitcher Grace Bullis, who lasted all eight innings. She had a slow, but menacing delivery. The Lady Bulldogs couldn’t get any rallies going because Bullis was in command.

“This game could have gone either way, really,” Reynolds said. “We need better hitting and we’ll get that if we focus on the task at hand.”

The Lady Bulldogs had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the seventh inning with the score knotted at 4 to 4. Sophomore catcher Christina North hit a double with two outs, but senior Kristin Depeaux grounded the opportunity.

The Indians got the only run it needed in the eighth inning. Beth Cleveland, the first batter, struck out, but was aware enough to sprint to first base after North couldn’t handle the pitch. Cleveland stole second and crossed home on an infield single by Brooklyn Griffin.

“It’s a tough loss, but you’ve got to push through it,” said North. “We need to execute better and just play hard the whole way.”

Reynolds told The Enterprise that the game came down to errors, too. Letting Cleveland advance to first base in extras was an error and BKW had trouble handling some grounders earlier in the contest.

“I believe that we have a strong defense; even if it didn’t look like it today,” said Reynolds. “It’s unfortunate to have those errors because I know they can do better.”

Returning players Kieva Reynolds, Danielle Kruegger, Kristin Depeaux, Bridgit Hurst, Kaitlyn Dunigan, Jen Crounse, and Megan Sprung are growing, but most don’t play softball in the off-season.

“That’s just the way things are up here,” Mike Reynolds said. His daughter, Kieva, and Kruegger play in travel leagues during the off-season. “People have other priorities and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m just happy that they all came back,” he said. “I want them to have a good time and learn.”

Dunigan was out of the line-up until Monday’s game and Sprung is out with an injury. Freshman Gabrielle Audino is getting starting time because Coach Reynolds noticed that she has the “athleticism to excel.”

“These girls put a lot of pressure on themselves and I think it stresses them out,” Reynolds said. “But, I’m sure their confidence will come back.”

Reynolds said that repetition will lead to more hitting for the team. “They have to know what will happen before game time comes,” he said. “I’ve seen them hit, so I know they can.”

 “We have to practice harder than we play,” said Reynolds. “The games will be easier that way.”

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