Solid fundamentals propel Berthoud softball
It can be easy to think of softball as a game of throwing and hitting. Yet, given the relatively small terrain on which teams compete, baserunning and fielding often have a disproportionate impact on the outcome of the competition.
These essential elements of the game were fully on display last Thursday at Bein Field, where the Berthoud High softball team departed Northridge for a final tally of 11-3. Throughout the seven-round competition, it was the Lady Spartans playing clean defense on the pitch and making smart decisions on the pads.
“That’s the key, that was the key and that’s what we didn’t do against good teams, we didn’t do the routine play and the teams made us pay for that and that. evening we played in defense and that made a big difference, “said Berthoud head coach Buddy Kouns, satisfied after the game.” Maggie (Langer) made big plays, Carly (Fischer) made good plays, Shaylee (Spears) made a great play, Mason Premer stepped in from the shortstop and made some big plays, so yeah, if we’re playing defense I like our chances with anyone, when we are not playing defense, we are building obstacles.
While Berthoud was able to take the lead early, taking a 4-1 lead in the middle of the first period as the Lady Spartans battled – Carly Fischer’s brace doing half the damage – Berthoud’s defense took regularly prevented Northridge from doing much plaque damage.
With runners in the second and third in the start of the fifth, Mason Premer turned a manual play into a short, recovering a hard-hit ground ball and shooting Lauren Zavednak early to complete the frame without a run being allowed. On two occasions, Shaylee Spears chased long, flying balls into right field to secure the out and Fischer did the same on the left. And at the third base it was Maddie Langer on several occasions who played in a game of gold glove caliber.
“I think a great thing is to have confidence with my teammates because I know that in the third I can get a lot of hot shots and so it can get a bit chaotic at times, so knowing exactly where I can go and my teammates, especially Laruen, she had. good digging, knowing that they are supporting me is very helpful, ”Langer explained. “I think whenever we can make a good play on the pitch, whenever you can make an exit, it’s huge, it really helps the team, we limited them to a few points tonight, so definitely playing games, doing routine games, was really helpful.
In addition to bringing the textbooks into play, the proven hitting and pitching formula certainly played a big part in the victory. On the night, Berthoud scored 12 hits, including six for extra goals and although ace pitcher Cemryn Pickett allowed some baserunners to get through the first innings, she had found her rhythm in the fourth frame. After Spears got a flying ball, Pickett struck out Northridge’s next two hitters in succession. After Premer’s stellar shortstop play ended in the fifth, Pickett faced the six-batting minimum in the final two shutout innings.
Rightly so, the last game of the match was a formidable double game turned by the defense of Berthoud. Pickett pushed Lilyanna Ramos to take the lead on seventh, but the lone goalkeeper didn’t phasing one iota. Pickett whipped up the next batter in just four pitches before inducing a ground ball to Zavednak who walked first and shot Premer short to complete the double play and secure the W for Berthoud. Pickett ended the night allowing just four hits and striking out eight in the full six-innings game, his tenth win of the season.
The Lady Spartans will travel to Parker to take on the Lutherans on Thursday afternoon.