Colonials Pound Wave
By David Breidenbach, Correspondent
Apr 2, 2014, 19:02
David Breidenbach/Hopewell News/News-Patriot
COLONIAL HEIGHTS—Coming into Tuesday night’s game against Petersburg the Colonials needed a jump start. The team had lost a couple close games in which they had had late leads, and consequently were two games below .500 at 2-4. A little bit of luck and some timely hitting, and they could just as easily be 4-2, but last inning losses to Fluvanna in extra innings and Monacan in the bottom of the seventh put them behind the eight ball in the standings.
Against the Crimson Wave, the team got the confidence builder they needed with a 19-0 victory. More than anything else, the team needed to get their bats working and create some timely hitting. That’s just what they got Tuesday, opening the game with a five-run inning and then collecting additional runs in every other inning, 3, 4, 5, and 2 in the second through fifth innings, respectively.
“It is a confidence builder; I just hope we use it. We had a good game against Collegiate, but then we sort of shot ourselves in the foot against Prince George. But this time we have a practice day before we host Dinwiddie Thursday,” Colonials Coach Chris Martin said.
For the most part, he said, the team has good pitching. Amber Harris, returning to the mound after three years due to a series of shoulder problems, seems to be getting stronger in every outing, and Ashley Schoot, the old reliable senior gun slinger, give the Colonials a solid one-two punch in the circle.
Harris, who hadn’t pitched an inning since eighth grade, has continued a solid climb back into her old form. As a middle school pitcher, she was nearly untouchable. But the varsity game is different and the quality of play is a bit stiffer. Still, Martin said you can see her building confidence every outing and once she settles in she will be hard to handle for opposing batters. Against Petersburg, Harris held the team down through three innings, striking out the side in the second inning on 12 pitches.
“We probably don’t have enough time to go through all the stuff she has had going on. She hasn’t pitched since her 8th grade year. I have to be more patient with her because I just want her to throw strikes. To me it’s just amazing that she can even do it (pitch). I believe once she finds that release point she will be tough. Ashley Schoot is pitching well, too. It’s a luxury to have two good pitchers,” Martin said.
Harris and Schoot combined for a one-hitter against the Crimson Wave. Martin expects the pitching to get better, and hopes that the batting will pick up in the tougher games ahead. Their 17-hit attack against Petersburg may turn out to be just the kind of lift the team needs, he said.
“As long as we continue to hit the ball, we’ll be all right,’ he said. “Everybody got to play tonight, but we only have a roster of 11 now so it’s not too hard to get everybody in.”