Port Allegany Reporter Argus
Apr. 30, 2009
The wins aren’t there yet for the Gators softball team, but coach Dave Roae is beginning to see some encouraging signs of progress from his young squad, which lists four juniors, four sophomores, and a freshman among its starters.
“Defensively, we’ve really improved in the last three or four games. You can tell by the scores; everything is tighter. Obviously, our offense is where we need to improve. I’m pretty happy with the defense right now,” Roae said. “We played Coudersport two weeks ago, and once again we didn’t hit the ball very well, but we played defense, and the girls were into the game … Beginning with Coudy, defensively, we’ve really come a long way.”
On Thursday night, Port ran into Otto-Eldred and pitcher Taylor Thomas again, with the Terrors notching a 10-2 win to sweep the season series. Unlike the first meeting, though, the Gators managed to touch the O-E ace for some hits and a couple of runs.
“We had one bad inning. It was 2-1 heading into the fourth, and we had seven errors, and they scored six runs. We played a good game up until then, and then it went down quick,” Roae said.
The Gators traveled to the Bolivar-Richburg Tournament on Friday afternoon for games against the Wolverines and Oswayo Valley. In the opener against B-R, a perennial New York state playoff participant, the Gators stayed close in a 4-0 loss.
“We had runners on third in three different innings; we just couldn’t score. Amarae Reinard pitched that game, and she kept them off-balance all night. She did a very nice job,” Roae said of his junior hurler, who scattered eight hits and four walks in six innings.
Port led Oswayo Valley 7-4 in the fourth inning of the consolation game, before the Green Wave rallied to win 8-7 on an unearned run in the eighth. Sophomore Sarah Brodhun went the distance in the nightcap, striking out six and walking seven.
Returning home, the Gators faced Northern Potter on Monday night. The Port bats were mostly silent again, with the team managing just two hits in the game, but improved fielding – including several solid plays by freshman third baseman Becky Andrus – kept them in another 4-0 defeat. Another ninth-grader, Kris-Ann Raymo, cracked a triple to the left-field fence.
“She’s really hitting the ball well,” Roae said of Raymo. “For a first-year player, she’s really impressed me both in the outfield and at the plate.
He concluded, “If we keep playing defense like this, and the sticks start working, we’re going to be all right.”
Now 1-8 on the season, the team was scheduled to play Austin on Wednesday, making up an earlier rainout as part of a doubleheader at the Port High field.