With basketball season officially over and baseball & softball in full swing (pun intended), a few trends have stood out to me in getting a look at some of the local teams. Keep in mind – I haven’t seen everybody play extensively yet, other than Seguin softball, so here are some things that have caught my eye in watching the Matadors.
1) Seguin looks much improved from last season. They fielded an extremely young team in 2008, with a number of freshmen & sophomores in starting roles. Those players are a year older & wiser, and seem to carry themselves with an air of confidence and self assuredness on the field this season. They only went 2-4 at their own tournament (great event, by the way…hats off to the staff at Huber Ranch for successfully hosting a 32-team extravaganza last weekend), but their losses to Georgetown, Wagner, and O’Connor (one of the top teams in San Antonio) all went down to the wire and gave the Mats invaluable experience going into district play.
2) Kelly Koenig defensively – she looked like a Gold-Glover at 3rd base as a sophomore in ’08, and has successfully made the transition to shortstop in ’09. Former shortstop Ashlyn Tovar switched with Koenig and moved to third, where she looks to be a natural fit. Add Brooke Abrameit at second and senior Shalee Medellin at first, and the Matadors infield is rock solid.
4) Speaking of Medellin – Good to see her back on the field & playing well in her senior season after having to sit out all of 2008 with an injury.
3) Kate Bateman in the pitcher’s circle - Geez, wasn’t it just yesterday we were watching Bateman mow down the opposition as the staff ace for the Seguin Juniors Little League All-Stars at the Southwest Regional Tournament in Odessa? She has hit the ground running as a freshman starting pitcher on varsity, and plays with the poise and calm of an upperclassmen. Great movement & location, great at changing velocity & keeping hitters off balance, and great at trusting the above mentioned defensive standouts to make plays behind her. With sophomore Amber Zearfoss on a strict and limited pitch count while she recovers from a back injury, Bateman’s quick ajustment to varsity softball has been crucial in keeping the early part of the Matadors’ season afloat.
4) Alex Bothe’s all around play – Just a terrific all-around athlete. Runs down everything in center field, has a rocket arm, and hits with power – she belted two home-runs in the tournament over the weekend.
5) Solid hitting all the way throught he lineup – Seguin is versatile in that it has players who can swing away and execute the “small ball” game with equal effectiveness. McKayla Mayfield and Taylor Woodall are fleet footed slap hitters that set the table at the top of the order, but the bottom third of the lineup has been very productive as well. Taylor Nelson, batting in the #9 spot, had the game-winning RBI single to drive in Megan Reiley in Seguin’s tournament win over Austin-Anderson last Friday and has been productive all season.
Of course, I don’t want to leave anybody out whose name wasn’t mentioned above, but those are just a few things that have stood out in watching Seguin softball early in the season. More on the other area softball & baseball teams to come.