Young Crusaders team coming together in softball

By Ray Hamill — A young St. Bernard’s softball team is expected to be much improved this spring, as the Crusaders get set for their home opener on Thursday afternoon.

The St. Bernard’s girls came out swinging the bat last week, scoring a combined 20 runs in their opening two games, including an exciting 17-16 win over Middletown on Saturday.

“We are a lot better than we were last year, but we still have to play with more confidence on defense,” head coach Anthony Ford said. “It’s a great group of girls. I don’t think there’s one mean girl among them. They get along very well and I’m very pleased with their attitude.”

This year’s team features just three seniors, all of whom will be expected to provide some much-needed leadership, including the multi-talented Emma Wilson, who got the new campaign off to an impressive start last week.

Wilson, who is also a standout in soccer and basketball, finished 2-for-2 with a home run and a triple in a season-opening 15-3 loss at Fortuna, and followed that with three more hits against the Mustangs.

“She’s leading the team in hitting right now and she’s got the potential to do that all year,” Ford said. “She’s scrappy, very athletic, super quick, and she’ll at least try to do everything I ask.”

Fellow seniors Courteney Goodman and Teressa Riley will each also play a big role for the team this spring, as will a talented junior class that includes pitcher Ella Jimenez who has shown a lot of growth in the circle and also had four hits against Middletown.

“We’ll rely heavily on our seniors, and we have some underclassmen stepping into leadership roles,” the head coach said. 

Junior third baseman Marce Davila has been clutch at the plate early in the season, finishing with three hits against Middletown and getting the walk-off game-winning hit.

Two other juniors — Kodi Meyer and Torrin Baby — are also expected to play big roles this season. Meyer had three hits against the Mustangs, while Baty will see time in the pitcher’s circle and in the outfield.

Sophomore Hannah Finck also has looked good early in the season and will start behind the plate.

“If we develop some chemistry we’ll be able to compete with anyone in the area,” Ford said. “We’ve been making some mental mistakes, but I was pleased in the Middletown game. They didn’t give up, they minimized their mistakes and they came out on top.”

The Crusaders will host Fortuna on Thursday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.and will play their home games this season in Samoa.

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