New Richmond softball plays competitively with state runner-upIf playing competitively for much of the game against the defending WIAA state runner-up is a positive sign, the 2012 season opener for the New Richmond girls softball team was a step in the right direction.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
If playing competitively for much of the game against the defending WIAA state runner-up is a positive sign, the 2012 season opener for the New Richmond girls softball team was a step in the right direction.
After three innings, the Tigers trailed Baldwin-Woodville 2-0. The Blackhawks scored three runs in the fourth inning and five more in the fifth inning to beat the Tigers 10-0 on the 10-run rule.
The Tigers fielded a young team in the opener, with two seniors and one junior in the starting lineup. The seniors made up the battery, with Ashley Langer returning for her third year as the team’s main pitcher. Paige Charland got the start behind the plate. With pitching coach Mike Peterson calling the pitches, Langer and Charland seemed to have a good chemistry working. They were able to get two called third strikes against veteran B-W hitters.
“Paige and Ashley had a good thing going,” said Tiger coach Becky Ahlbrecht. “The younger kids respond to Paige’s leadership.”
A third senior, Kelsey Gilkison, should be rejoining the lineup shortly, after dealing with a minor knee injury.
A trio of sophomores made up the outfield, in Callie Jirik, Megan Chelberg and Ellie Emerson. The infield included junior Jordan Pastorius at second base, sophomores Sydney Kannel and Sydney Jones at the corners and freshman Ebony Campbell at shortstop.
Campbell and Pastorius had the only Tiger hits against Baldwin-Woodville. Ahlbrecht said Campbell has been a nice surprise in winning the shortstop role. Campbell played club ball on Ahlbrecht’s team last summer.
The inexperience of the Tigers caught up with them in the later innings on Thursday. They committed five errors, which led to most of the Blackhawks’ runs.
“You can’t throw the ball around, especially against a good team like Baldwin,” Ahlbrecht said.
This was the second straight season that the Tigers opened up against Baldwin-Woodville. This year’s 10-0 loss was much more competitive than the 17-2 loss the Blackhawks inflicted last year.
“We’re trying to take this game as a positive and use it as fuel,” Ahlbrecht said. “Our motto is ‘we’re going to get better every day.’”
The Tigers will back be on their home field at NRHS this Thursday with a game against Prescott. That’s followed by two road games, at Hudson on Friday and at Somerset next Monday.