About nine years ago, Abby Preletz never envisioned softball being in her big picture. It has been an arduous climb that has been rewarding in the long run.
“I couldn’t wait to stop playing,” recalled Preletz about her softball beginnings. “I absolutely hated it. My mother told me to play out the season and see what could happen.
“I did and I started to really appreciate the sport. I began to believe that I could do anything I wanted in the sport after I learned more and more about it. It was a big change and it was all for the best.
Catasauqua head softball coach Bobby Thomas was hoping to have some breathing room in his final regular week of the regular season, having a day off between games.
Instead, the Roughies – like many other teams due to the recent outbreak of rain – had four consecutive games scheduled this week, beginning with Northern Lehigh.
Catty started the week with an overall 13-3 record. They downed Northern Lehigh 10-4 Monday behind Shannon Gallagher’s pair of home runs. With the win, the Roughies moved another step closer to clinching the Western Division of the Colonial League.
This season continues to be a test of character for the Roughies’ baseball team.
Having postponements because of rain, Catasauqua began the week with an improbable schedule of five games in four days, and possibly facing a Colonial League playoff game afterwards within a day or two.
The young Roughies – starting as many as seven sophomores during any game this season – started the week with an overall 6-8 record, needing four wins over their next six games to gain a district playoff spot. To help achieve that goal, Catty also has a game with Lehighton next week.
Heading into this week’s Colonial League meet, Catasauqua’s track team has the chance to excel in several events.
The Roughies will take a cast of 18 participants to the two-day event at Whitehall in hopes of advancing some of their more consistent performers. Things got underway Tuesday and finished up Wednesday.
“We have a good group going,” said head coach Glenn Reightler. “We have some who have a great opportunity to do well and continue to do well in districts and beyond.”
These days, Olivia Schlofer is having fun.
The Catasauqua senior has been playing softball since the seventh grade, and she always has taken a serious and dedicated approach. However, Schlofer has taken a different approach to softball this spring.
Schlofer already has shifted her focus to her field hockey career that will continue at Moravian College next fall, where she will pursue a nursing degree.
Like he’s done in the past, Colin Hawk gets the job done.
The Catasauqua junior has been one of the key components of the Roughies pitching staff this season, as he has been productive in his first varsity season.
In his latest outing before this week, Hawk twirled a complete game victory over Saucon Valley April 21 in which he struck out five and walked three in a 5-3 win, a key game that helped keep the Roughies in the postseason hunt.
For the Catasauqua softball team, step one is complete. One step that was completed out of the limelight.
With their 8-2 victory over Tamaqua, the Roughies clinched a district playoff spot and won their ninth straight game in the process. The victory gave them an overall 10-2 record with eight games remaining on their schedule.
Catty can now turn its attention on fine tuning its game and addressing some other issues as they head down the stretch toward the next step.
If one adage fits the Catasauqua baseball team this spring, it’s that time is on their side.
The Roughies began the year with six sophomores in their starting lineup, and returned only Corey Raysely — a sophomore – and senior Nate Pontician to their lineup.
Their inexperience surfaced early in the season as the Roughies plodded through a 14-3 defeat to rival Northampton in their opener and then were the victim of an 11-0 pasting from Bangor in their next game.
The Roughies did rally for a 7-6 win over Salisbury before they suffered a hard-luck loss against Palmerton.
Despite his coach viewing it as not a popular choice, Nate Pontician still was going to wear stirrup socks against Moravian Academy.
“Coach (Steve Bradley) made fun of me before the game for wearing stirrups,” noted Pontician. “But I wanted to try something different to help change my luck. I knew I had to change things up.”
Pontician may be wearing stirrups the remainder of the season. His supposed good luck charm paid some huge dividends.
Before the season, Catasauqua head softball coach Bobby Thomas believed his team would be strong offensively.
For the most part, the Roughies have. Through Monday’s action, Catty pieced together a four-game winning streak, mainly due to the bottom half of their lineup producing.
Thomas knows his lineup must be solid for his team to be a contender in late spring.