By Jake Thompson
LIZTON — Between the weather and spring break vacations, local softball teams have not been getting in many games.
However, the lack of playing time did not affect the Bruins last night as they throttled the visiting Warriors in five innings, 25-1.
“They hit the ball better than I could have ever expected to start off the season this way,” Tri-West coach Stacey Rogers said. “I told them, we still have to keep moving up.”
The Bruins produced both from the mound and the plate with stellar performances from a pair of sophomores.
Tri-West’s Claire Johnson accomplished one of the game’s rarest feats as she hit for the cycle with a single, double, triple and inside-the-park-homerun. She also added on another inside-the-park-homer for good measure, going 5 for 5 on the day.
“I just got up there and tried my best,” Johnson said. “Everyone tells me to swing for the fence and do your best, but I just went up there to get on base because that’s the goal.”
In five innings of play, the Bruins’ Marita VanDyke threw 13 strikeouts with a performance that certainly caught the eye of Rogers and Covenant’s batters.
“Marita is an unbelievable pitcher and her ball moves like crazy,” Rogers said. “We had an opportunity to let her move that ball all around and see what she could do.”
The Bruins’ Kari Sellers also had an outstanding night from the batters box as she went 4 for 4 with two triples, a double and a single. Taylor Baggett recorded a triple and two singles.
Every Tri-West starter scored at least one run.
Covenant Christian gave up a slew of runs (8) in the opening inning but got one back in the top of the second.
An error by the Bruins on a ground ball hit by the Warriors’ Gracia Baifembi with two runners on brought Madison Moes across the plate for Covenant’s only run of the game.
Covenant coach John Owens was breaking in five players he had never seen play in a game, but gave all of the credit to Tri-West for the outcome.
“Hats off to Tri-West as they are a group of kids that have obviously had the opportunity to play together,” he said. “They are fundamentally very sound, they have great patience in the box and are very well coached.”
Mackenzie Standeford and Bailey Shuman each had singles for the Warriors, Covenant’s only hits in the game.
“It’s the first time we’ve played together with this combination,” Owens said. “I wasn’t really too disappointed with our effort tonight. Some (players) lived up to expectations tonight and some didn’t.”
Both coaches agreed it was finally nice to get out of the gym and onto the field as Owens described his players as “stir crazy” and Rogers said “it felt great and my girls were getting very anxious to get out and play."