Girls look to gain experience
Two years ago, Catasauqua’s softball program figure it would take a different turn.
Perennial Colonial League and District 11 contenders for a number of years, the loss of key veterans and a handful of budding players pointed to a rebuilding year that eventually resulted in a 2-17 season.
This year, the Roughies found themselves in a similar situation with four seniors and a number of inexperienced players on the varsity level for the first time. The final results again were similar, but the path taken was a different one.
Players missing practices and games jolted the Roughies’ program and everyday lineup, as they were the victims of eight shutouts and a 2-16 overall mark.
It certainly was a unique situation for longtime head coach Bob Thomas.
“We knew it would be a struggle,” said Thomas about the season. “We really had a huge problem with players attending practices and games. It didn’t enable us to give our best effort.
“During our final game, we had everyone there. But we had too many people missing at key positions throughout the year. It was something that we struggled with, and I wish I had the answer for it.”
Senior Alexia Reichl was a mainstay on the mound for the Roughies until a shoulder injury derailed his career last season. However, Reichl threw five pitches to get the final out of the season.
“I was always waiting for that moment, and I didn’t think I would get the chance,” said Reichl, who will attend DeSales University next year to pursue a degree in business and health management. “My shoulder hurt afterwards, but I am glad that I did it.
“This was a tough year. We had a lot of young girls on the team and a lot of them weren’t motivated. We seniors tried our very best, but it didn’t work to our advantage. They didn’t seem to care like we did.”
The Roughies will return pitchers Erica Kuhar and Hannah Towich, both of whom carried the load all season.
“Both of them threw strikes, but we just didn’t make the plays behind them,” said Thomas. “They did what we asked them to do, and they should continue to improve.”
Thomas is optimistic his players will take the initiative to play during the summer.
“We expressed to them to think about playing during the summer,” said Thomas. “It can definitely help with game situations. Learning on the fly doesn’t work on the varsity level.
“We need these players to play more.”