Archive for Thursday, April 4, 2002

Jags softball team still looking for offense

April 4, 2002

When Mill Valley softball coach Pat Sullivan looked at his lineup before the season began, he saw the potential for a team that could dominant on offensive.

After being shutout in the season opener against Anderson County Friday, Sullivan was forced to look for answers. He found them in the Jaguars approach at the plate.

"A big part of hitting is mental," Sullivan said. "We faced a tough pitcher in game one, and we just weren't very selective at the plate. She threw a lot of first pitch strikes that we took, and then we were back on our toes for the next pitch."

Sophomore Erin Thomas started on the mound for the Jaguars, and Sullivan said he thought she pitched a good game. After throwing three scoreless innings, Thomas was hit for two runs in the fourth inning, after early walks came around to score.

"Our trouble all day was that just about everybody we walked came around to score," Sullivan said. "I can live with two runs, and I thought Erin pitched a real nice ballgame."

The Jags barely threatened in game one. Sophomore catcher Kerri Walter ripped a two-out triple in the fifth inning, but she was left stranded at third, and the Jags fell 2-0.

In game two, the Mill Valley offense came alive. Walter got things started in the first inning with a two-run single that put the Jags up 2-0. From there, a six-run fourth inning added to the Mill Valley lead that turned into a 10-3 victory.

Sullivan said he was pleased with his team's performance in the nightcap, but said he still didn't think the offense was where it should be.

"We scored a lot of runs in that second game, but we still didn't hit the ball real well," Sullivan said. "We scored most of those runs because of our aggressive baserunning."

Sophomore Katrina Heinrich started on the mound for the Jaguars in game two, and she went the distance for the win.

"Katrina pitched real well; she was overpowering at times," Sullivan said. "The only time she got hurt was when she walked people."

For the most part those walks did not hurt the Jaguars, who Sullivan said played a much more complete game.

"We started to get our swagger back in the second game, and we played with a little more confidence," Sullivan said. "When the girls can laugh and have fun out there on the field, it shows they're playing with confidence and we need that. We have high expectations and we have to start picking our play up right now."

Sullivan said he expected the Jaguars to pick up their intensity Thursday when they host Lansing in an afternoon double-header. The first pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

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