Coach: Softball district will be ‘very competitive’
Coach Steve Reaves has a great deal of confidence in this year’s Lady Marlins softball team. It’s just that so far, the girls don’t seem to have their heads into the game. Reaves said of the team following a tournament at Victoria March 1-3 that “they lost their focus.”
But Reaves has seven players from last year returning to this year’s squad -- some of them with great potential, he believes.
“We have great pitching in Savannah (Ortiz) and Bakar (Sackschewsky),” he said.
One characteristic of softball is that the pitcher can dominate the game – one player is more critical to the game than in most other contests. And when a pitcher is on top of her game, she can often control the opposing team’s offense.
Reaves thinks Ortiz and Sackschewsky may be of that caliber.
On the other hand, there aren’t any pushovers on the Lady Marlins’ schedule.
“It’s a very competitive district,” Reaves said of District 31A, the Lady Marlins’ home – at least until the University Interscholastic League re-draws district lines, which they’re expected to do within four or five weeks.
He pointed out that the Port Aransas girls have beaten Ben Bolt (6-5), but that Ben Bolt is “significantly improved” over last year, and the Lady Marlins’ edge may not last.
LaVilla, another district opponent, “returns most of their players – they’ll be very competitive,” Reaves said.
“We’re probably favored on paper, but …“ he said, shrugging, meaning – as every coach says – you never can tell for sure.
Reaves expects to see “a lot of 3-2, 4-3 and 5-4 ball games this year” – games won (or lost) by a single run.
Among the encouraging items is the upswing the team had toward the end of the 2011 season.
“We won the last five games last year,” he pointed out. “We were hitting well, and we’ll hope to get back into that groove earlier this year than we did last year.”
Reaves stopped a moment to think about the upcoming season, and recalled that besides that offensive potential and his pitching staff, he also has some experienced defensive players returning to the diamond.
“We’re going to be in every game,” he said, “not only because of our pitching, but because of our defense.
“And we have the best pitching in the district.”