Pitching injuries put CHS in tough spot
Bobby Thomas knew that he could encounter a situation where he would lose his starting pitcher to a long-term injury. Over the past eight years, he felt fortunate that it didn’t happen.
“I remember when Nicole Kern was in the program and she was our only pitcher,” recalled Thomas. “She was one of our top hitters and she often ran the bases. I thought to myself that if she ever got hurt in that situation, we would be in trouble.”
Unfortunately, Thomas currently has to face the unthinkable fate, yet one that can be salvaged.
The Roughies recently lost pitchers Alexia Reichl and Shannon Gallagher to injuries, ones that could possibly severely hamper or possibly end their seasons. Reichl, who was the team’s workhorse last season, has an arm injury, and Gallagher has an ankle injury, one that doesn’t look promising for the remainder of the season.
“Alexia (Reichl) will be evaluated this week and it looks like she will be out for a while,” Thomas said. “Shannon (Gallagher) messed up her ankle and she could be gone for the year. We’ll have a better feel for things at the end of the week.”
As a result, sophomore Hannah Towich and freshman Madison Kessler have taken over the mound duties.
“They both really didn’t expect to pitch,” Thomas said of his new duo. ‘”But they will get a baptism by fire. They can get the job done, but it may take some time.”
The Roughies, who are in a transition year with the loss of All-American Hannah Edwards and other key seniors from last year’s 19-win unit, got off to a rough 0-3 start. They were blanked 14-0 by Northwestern in their opener , and then suffered a 18-8 defeat to Notre Dame followed by a 14-4 loss to Saucon Valley.
“We never got ontrack against Northwestern,” Thomas said. “We were winning in the Notre Dame and Saucon Valley games, but we weren’t able to finish. We knew that it wasn’t going to be like last year and we lost some girls.”
Thomas did credit the play of catcher Emma Bellesfield, who is hitting in the leadoff spot, along with sophomore shortstop Serena Smith, who has been consistent with her bat and glove. Junior KLyomi Rincon-Cintron is among the new faces on the roster this spring.
It will be a matter of quick maturation process for the new-look Roughies to make their annual return to the postseason.
“It is tough for our first-year varsity players to adjust,” Thomas said. “We also have a number of girls who are out and haven’t played in a while. We spoke to our young pitchers and we know we are at the crossroads.
“We just need to keep working hard and see what happens.”