After two seasons, Janae Matos realized that she had to take a more patient approach at the plate for the Moravian softball team.
“I knew I had to be a lot more calmer,” said the former Catasauqua standout. “I am finding and waiting on better pitches. During my first two years, I was swinging at everything in the strike zone.
“This year, I am seeing everything better. I’m waiting on pitches and I’m in a really good zone right now.”
Matos has posted the numbers to prove it.
Catasauqua’s track team headed to the PIAA District 11 meet this week with plenty of promise and opportunity.
The Roughies best chance of claiming a gold medal is with their girls’ 4 X 100 relay team of Tyra Brown, Kenzie Bradley, Hanasia Jenkins, and Amaiya Johnson, who combined to finish second behind Southern Lehigh in the Colonial League meet. The foursome was the defending league champions and they lost by a split second to Palisades at last year’s district meet.
After nearly two challenging years, the Roughies are back in the district playoffs.
The Roughies clinched a postseason berth when they captured a hard-fought, 2-1 victory over Northwestern in a home night game at Parkland on May 10. It gave them their first playoff game in two seasons.
In the game, Zach Bilder had another strong effort, as he hurled a 10-strikeout, two-hit gem. Bilder led off the bottom of the sixth and came home with the winning run when Cam Ritter drove him with the winning hit. Rod Berger scored Corey Raysley with a hit for the Roughies’ first run.
In the early phases of the second game of the season against Notre Dame, Alexia Reichl was in a good position with a 7-1 lead and six strikeouts in the process.
The junior right-hander was headed toward another strong season ahead. Suddenly, though, Reichl felt her arm stiffen and couldn’t pitch.
“I didn’t have any feeling in my arm,” recalled Reichl. “My arm just became stiff and I had trouble moving it. I just couldn’t pitch anymore.”
For the Catasauqua baseball team, it is crunch time.
The Roughies have endured a roller coaster season, hitting their share of highs and lows during the season. They are seeking to get back to the district playoffs after struggling through a 7-13 season in which they experienced their share of growing pains on a club that watched a number of games slip from their grasp.
Mainly due to late season rain, Catty needed to win four games in six days to reach the postseason. They were optimistic that the predicament would not face them again this season.
Even though the season is early, Catasauqua’s track program continues to excel.
The defending Colonial league champion girls’ 400 relay team of Kenzie Bradley, Tyra Brown, Hanasia Jenkins, and Amaiya Johnson recently set a new personal best time of 50.6. They have been setting record times throughout the young season and appear to be on track to defend their title.
Catty’s foursome lost by a split second to Palisades in last year’s Class 2A District 11 meet. Johnson is the newest member of the unit, replacing recent graduate Quinn Bachman.
Andrew Brett has been accustomed to the big stage. This time around, he has adjusted to the same type of role in a different environment.
In his first starting role as the Roughies starting quarterback, Brett threw for more than 2,000 yards and 16 touchdowns, placing him in an elite crowd in the statistical field.
For the Catasauqua baseball team, their last three weeks will be a test of character. Or better yet, it will be gut-check time.
Starting Wednesday, the Roughies will embark on a three-week journey, one that will test their mettle and resolve as they begin their search for a return to the district playoffs and also a possible spot in the Colonial League playoffs.
Editor’s note: In last week’s edition of the Catasauqua Press, an incorrect photo was used to go with the feature on Joey Kober. This is a reprinted version of the story with a correct photo. The Press apologizes for the error.
Joey Kober knew it was time for an attitude adjustment.
It was his sophomore season and Kober realized that life was bigger than he thought.
“Things are a lot better than last year,” said Kober, a junior. “I am a lot more determined. I started on JV and then was called up to varsity.
Dani Pluchinsky knew the softball program likely would take a different direction this season, but she didn’t expect the current stage to surface.
The Roughies began the season with all-state performer Hannah Edwards and other former seasoned seniors that produced a 19-win last year, and kept them among the elite in softball circles.
Still, Alexia Reichl and fellow senior Shannon Gallagher returned to anchor the pitching staff and provide some big bats in the lineup. That was until the duo went down with season-ending pitching injuries in the opening weeks.