Young Boyertown team has a slow start in the PAC-10

The Boyertown Area High School softball team has a league record of 2-3, and 3-3 overall in a very hectic and crazy start to the 2015 season. With the crazy winter that we had this year, teams haven’t been able to practice outside, which causes a lot of questions for coaches because it’s hard for them to evaluate their talent. Coach Brandi Hankins, along with her team, is still working out the kinks to the 2015 campaign. Hankins feels that it’s extremely hard to gage her team so far.

“The team is working in a gym space that can barely hold 30 girls and limits us tremendously on what we can and cannot work on,’ said Hankins. “It has a huge effect in a negative way. The girls get antsy and bored working on the same things over and over. There is only so much we can do and it is hard to get them to stay focused when they are bored.

“It has been very difficult to work on things we need to touch upon when we haven’t had practice days or when practices have had to be held in the gym. Offensively things are starting to fall into place and we are beginning to generate hits. Defensively the girls are still getting used to playing with each other and playing in different positions.’

There are some things this season that Hankins is happy with so far. The girls have battled and pulled together in some stressful and difficult times. It shows that they have the heart, drive, and determination that is going to win them games.

She’s isn’t happy with their record. She’s hoping some spring weather starts to show up and the team can actually get some practices in to be able to work on key things.

The Lady Bears have four seniors, and a collection of relatively younger players. Hankins feels that even though the Lady Bears are young, the inexperience isn’t a concern for her. Hankins said her girls are extremely hard working and willing to learn. More importantly, they want to win.

Returning for the Lady Bears are Vicky Schlott, senior, third base; Becky Marburger, senior, SS, Lauren Waller, junior, first base; Mandy Kalil , junior, pitcher; Elie Goida, senior, outfield; Maddie Cotellese, junior, outfield; and Sarah Eidle, junior, second base. There are also two younger players that are looking to make an impact – Sarah Reinert, sophomore outfielder; and Alyssa Acker,+ sophomore catcher.

“Sarah is going to have a huge impact in the lineup with her offensive abilities,’ said Hankins. “She is also very versatile in the field and can play just about anywhere. She is going to have a huge impact on the team this year.

“Alyssa has preformed great for us thus far. She is young but has done a tremendous job catching and pushing our pitchers along. She isn’t afraid to block the ball and does what she needs to do to keep us in games. Offensively she is also doing very well. She is adjusting and growing and doing everything we ask her to do.’

Coach Hankins has very high expectations for the Lady Bears this season. Although they are a relatively young team, she feels that this is a very solid team.

“They are meshing well thus far and it is great seeing them pick each other up and push through the struggle of the beginning of the season,’ said Hankins. “I think the girls will go far this year and I can definitely see them being a main competitor within the conference.’

The Lady Bears should have very little problems scoring runs. They have girls who can hit up and down the line-up.

Hankins feels that the league is always very competitive. There are quite a few powerhouses in the league and anyone can win on any given day. She’s hoping that her team will be able to compete in the league this year. Hankins doesn’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be able to.

“If we continue to grow together and work together these girls will go very far,’ said Hankins. “They have to ability it is just a matter of pulling together and sticking together to get them where they want to be.’

Phil Haddad is a free lance writer for the Times. You can follow him on Twitter @writersprtsBT

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