Blazers ultimately could not recover from a slow start against the Jaguars
The girls' varsity softball team (1-1) suffered its first loss in its second game of the season against the Northwest Jaguars (2-0). After a slow start in the first half of the game, the Blazers were re-invigorated at the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring 3 runs in two innings. Unfortunately, the burst of energy came a little too late and was not enough to overcome the Jaguars as they fell 4-3.
Blair was extremely strong defensively, successfully preventing Northwest batters from advancing to first base throughout the first two innings. After the energy and excitement from the beginning of the game died down, the defensive focus seemed to ramp up even more. Most notably junior outfielder Reva Kreeger made a stellar catch that prevented the Jaguars from scoring the first run of the game. Unfortunately, the second time around was not the charm and Northwest scored a run at the top of the third inning after their batter managed to squeeze a hit past the Blazers' outfielders.
After the Jaguars' first run, the Blazers' offense deflated a little. Team captain senior Camilla Arias acknowledged that but did also recognize that they definitely stepped it up during the final two innings. "We weren't being as disciplined as we should've been in the batter's box. That being said, it was only our second game against probably one of the best pitchers we'll see all season. We made adjustments and started seeing her better which led to our rally in the last two innings,” she said.
At the bottom of the sixth inning the Northwest defense got complacent, but the Blair offense awakened. After three innings without a run the offense received a jolt of energy when junior Anna Reachmack hit a fly ball and scored a double. After that stellar play, the Blazer offense was on fire. The next batter, junior Mildred Devereux, hit an RBI double that allowed Reachmack to score Blair's first run of the game. After two strikes at bat senior Kerry Madden hit an RBI leaving the score at the top of the last inning 4-2, Northwest.
With the whole team invigorated, the Blazer defense would not allow the Jaguars to get a run in at the top of the seventh. At the bottom of the seventh inning Kreeger got a beautiful hit in that allowed senior Megan Houlihan to steal third base. Blair got its third run when Reachmack hit her second RBI of the game. The end of the seventh inning was crunch time. With Kreeger and Reachmack on third and second base respectively, the Blazers came really close to scoring a fourth and possibly fifth run. But, Northwest's pitcher threw multiple change ups at the end of the game that kept the players at bat from getting in successful hit. The game, which had picked up speed and energy in its final two innings, fizzled out with the score 4-3 Northwest.
Both Arias and Coach Louis Hoelmann highlighted the team's extreme amount of drive and persistence throughout the game. Hoelmann also focused on possible improvements that the team could make in the future. "I'm really proud of how tough we were mentally at the end of the game, no one wanted to make that last out so we had some really good tough at bats and I'm really happy to have that this early in the season. We also learned that every little mistake can hurt you in a sport like softball so we're going to have to clean up our act and make fewer mistakes if we want to win close games like that.”
Arias was optimistic about their performance at end of the game and what it means for the future. "I'm proud of what we left on the field, and if we play the rest of the season the way we did those last two innings, it'll be a really exciting and rewarding season for us all,” she said.
Reva Kreeger is a staff writer on Silver Chips.
Neida Mbuia Joao. Welcome to SCO! I'm Neida (pronounced Neigh-duh) and I'm the online opinion editor for the site. My favorite pass-times include snacking, reading super dense novels and watching lots of television. Clearly I'm on track to become a vegetable. If so I'd like to be a ... More »