The Oley Valley High School softball team got off to a rough start, losing games by blowout margins. Now head coach Bruce Moyer (in his 25th year as coach at Oley) has seen improvement in his team. He has just one senior, and there are times when he’s starting four or five freshman in a game. It will be a learning season for the Lady Lynx, but already Moyer sees improvement from game to game.
“That’s what you hope for as a coach, and to improve’ said Moyer. “I’m not going to make excuses, it takes time to get the girls ready for a game when you go up against Brandywine (Heights) and Kutztown. Those teams are tough every year.
“I told them tonight (Monday) how proud I am of them,’ said Moyer. “My catcher right now (Lindsay Moyer) has gone 3-for-4 in the past several games. When they hit and know what they did wrong, then you know they’re starting to understand hitting.’
The reason for the slow start was a combination of things according to Coach Moyer. He was working with the pitcher on location. There have been too many pitches up in the strike zone and they have been getting hit. The Lady Lynx lost their last two games by a combined score of 20-16. His team is scoring runs, but they are still giving up a lot/.”Sometimes you have to take baby steps,’ said Moyer. “You have to work on the little things as positive things and that’s what we’re doing now. It’s starting to get better in my opinion as a coach. It takes time and you have to be patient with your team. We’re playing better and you can tell by the scores that we’re playing better. We’ll get over the hump – we will.”One key hit could change the game around,’ said Moyer. “I’m not sure if they’re nervous or what, but it’s a good question. Sometimes that’s the breaks. You hit the ball hard but it goes right to the person. It’s not like we’re striking out. It’s been like that with all these young girls, they just don’t drop in for us.’Returning for the Lady Lynx are senior Heather Drissell, juniors Brooke Yerger and Danielle Knowles, and sophomores Caitlin Drobek and Brianna Zettlemoyer. Drissell and Yerger are the captains for the Lady Lynx, and they’ve been very helpful with teaching the younger players according to Moyer. Yerger is playing different positions in the field this season. Knowles has made the move from catcher to first base. She’s been learning the position but there will be a transition period.
The freshmen who are looking to make an impact are Lindsey Moyer, Kelsey Schlegel, Nadeen Grauby, Gina Colantuono and Kristen Stanhardt.
Moyer is batting second and playing great according to Coach Moyer.
“To come from junior high to this level is not easy,’ said Moyer. “It’s a lot faster than junior high, but the girls are adjusting and improving.
‘Schlegel is batting fifth or sixth in the line up andhas had at least one hit in every game so far.
The goals are modest for the Lady Lynx this season. They aren’t looking to win a league, or even a division title. They just want to be in the middle of the pack in their division – maybe beat the teams that beat them earlier in the season.
“If we keep getting better, those are the games we should start winning, and build up confidence,’ said Moyer. “We want to end the season on a peak.’
Coach Moyer doesn’t like to use the term ‘ rebuilding year’. He feels that if you coach and work with the players, they will get better. “Like I said, they’re coming along,’ said Moyer. “You gotta be patient. If I’m patient, they’ll come along.’
Phil Haddad is a free lance writer for the Times. You can follow him on Twitter @writersprtsBT