By Jake Thompson
BROWNSBURG — With the weather finally cooperating, the Bethesda Christian softball team was finally able to get in its first games of the season. With temperatures in the lower 50s, the Patriots made the most of their opportunity.
Facing the Emmerich Manual Redskins in a doubleheader on Saturday, Bethesda dispatched the visiting opponent in both games by the 10-run rule. The Patriots won the first contest 11-0 and took the second, 15-4.
“I had been watching the weather for three weeks for this date and it has changed a hundred times,” Bethesda coach Terry Benge said. “I thought we did well and the things we wanted the girls to work on, we could see that. We were making the plays and that’s what I liked to see. We are a young team and you could tell the girls got the feel for what is expected.”
Sophomore Kylie Minton pitched a one-hit shutout in the first contest with 12 strikeouts while junior Emily Hayden threw the second, sitting down 13 Redskins.
Both pitchers’ performances received praise from their coach.
“Kylie was not fully on and she was good and when she is on, I think she’ll be great,” Benge said. “She had good movement on the ball and she was hitting her spots. When you can bring in your second pitcher who has not had the training, pitching lessons, and everything else, and she can keep you right in the game and let your defense do the work, that’s huge.”
Bethesda jumped out on Manual quickly in both games taking 6-0 and 5-0 advantages in the first inning of both games, respectively.
The Patriots hit Redskins pitcher Madison Richardson seemingly at will all afternoon.
In four at-bats in the first contest, both Minton and Sara Harrison each went 4 for 4 and brought in 2 RBI while Kendra Okey also batted 1.000, going 3 for 3.
During the second game, Minton continued her onslaught at the plate, staying perfect in all five attempts. Senior Jordan Benge went 4 for 4 with an RBI and Hayden knocked in a home run.
“There were a couple of situations where they had to think through the next situation and that really happened when there were runners on base,” coach Benge said. “I felt like they grew up at the plate there today. Coming away, offensively there were some gains made.”
Of the two games only three Patriots in the batting order did not get a hit and Bethesda cleared its bench.
Benge brought in all of his freshmen to hit, giving them an early reminder that they could be called upon at any moment.
“We did a good job of sitting back and waiting with patience and that’s key,” Benge said. “The younger girls lack the confidence and are scared to make a mistake. When you can play two games it takes pressure off and they really delivered.”
Overall, Benge said he was pleased and noted that that’s an odd feeling to have at the beginning of the year.
“I told the girls that I hate to not come out after the game and not have a list to get on them about this early in the season, but I really didn’t,” he said. “Our girls did a good job of staying within our capability and making sure we stayed consistent and patient.”