Simply put, the Roughies softball team is young.
Emma Bellesfield, Alexia Reichl, and Maddy Zangl are the lone seniors on the roster. It will be a true test of patience.
In their first two games of this season, the Roughies suffered a 27-1 loss to Notre Dame and a 16-1 defeat to Northwestern. Catty has 16 players on its roster.
“Right now, we are giving away too many outs,” said head coach Bobby Thomas. “We really don’t have a lot of experience. Against Notre Dame, we gave up seven or eight outs in the first inning.
Catasauqua head baseball coach Steve Bradley knows his team isn’t hitting on all cylinders. It also may be some time before they get there.
“We need to have some pretty good pitching, play good defense, and score some runs,” said Bradley. “Right now, we have one piece of the puzzle.
“We’re dropping popups and not getting runners in when we need to.”
Through their first two games, the Roughies are 0-2 and have dropped a 13-1 decision to Notre Dame, a 5-1 game to Northwestern, and a 10-0 shutout to Northampton, a five-inning game in which Catty had one hit.
With the setbacks of the recent winter storms, Catasauqua’s track team is anxious to begin the regular season.
New head coach Kyle Rusnock is a big part.
The always energetic Rusnock has brought a high level of energy into the program.
The Roughies will have to wait until April 3 with a home meet against Palisades to get underway as their scheduled season opener Tuesday at Wilson was postponed.
Northampton’s and Catasauqua’s baseball seasons got underway Monday afternoon, but it certainly was a long journey to get there.
The series of nor’easter snow storms that rocked the Lehigh Valley and beyond during the month of March placed practice schedules in a state of frenzy and pushed back scheduled starting dates nearly a week.
It will yet to be seen how the sudden and untimely winter weather will affect timing of hitters and pitchers as well as cause havoc on the sprinters and throwers.
For the upcoming 2018 season, Catasauqua will return seven senior starters to its lineup. It should be a solid core that will allow the Roughies to steadily fill some holes.
Last season, the Roughies finished with an overall 9-12 mark and their season ended in the opening round of the PIAA District 11 Class 3A playoffs with a 2-0 loss to Tamaqua. They lost four seniors to graduation, two of them fixtures on the mound in Rod Berger and Colin Hawk.
The year was 2006, the last time the Roughies qualified for the PIAA state tournament.
It also is one of the more memorable years in the annals of Catasauqua boys’ basketball, one that resulted in a stellar and eventful 27-4 season.
The ride was a short one, but it was filled with memories that easily have withstood the test of time and don’t show any sense of withering away in the near future.
Austin Brett and Tyler Melendez both cherished their opportunity to compete at the PIAA Class 2A Southeastern Regional at Wilson West Lawn High School last weekend.
However, they didn’t get to advance to the next step.
Brett’s and Melendez’s season ended in the consolation rounds of the tournament. For Brett, a freshman, it was the first step toward a promising career ahead. On the other hand, Melendez, a senior, saw the chapter close on his wrestling career.
Before the season, Catasauqua head coach Eric Snyder had his team sights to returning to a district semifinal game, the site where they dropped a 91-46 decision to Valley Forge Military Academy.
This time around, the Roughies faced Notre Dame. Unfortunately, the outcome wasn’t any different.
Catty couldn’t find its rhythm all night as they dropped a 65-44 decision to the Crusaders, ending their season with an overall 15-10 record.
Eric Snyder knew after Friday’s practice and Saturday’s walk-through that his team couldn’t wait to play.
“I knew they were ready to go,” said Snyder. “It was a very good effort and the boys were chomping at the bit. You always get a little nervous when you haven’t played in a while.
“But I had the same feeling before we played in Pottsville last year. I cut practice short on the day before the game because I knew they were ready.”
The Roughies surely were.
A few months ago, Austin Brett wasn’t thinking about competing at the PIAA Class 2A Southeastern Regional tournament this weekend at Wilson West Lawn High School.
Instead, he was wondering when he would be wrestling again.
In the opening weeks of practice, Brett fractured his growth plate in his foot and there wasn’t an exact timetable for his return. It was an untimely break for the freshman, who cracked the Roughies’ lineup at 113 pounds.
But Brett battled through rehab and returned to the lineup in a dual match against Notre Dame Jan. 22.