Archive for Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Braves carried unbeaten streak into Thurs. softball showdown with De Soto

April 11, 2012, 4:35 p.m.

Updated: April 12, 2012, 12:00 a.m.

The Bonner Springs softball team started Tuesday with a major setback: its starting third baseman, Cassasdy Holloway, cracked her head open and the injury forced her to miss the game.

That could have cast a shadow over the day, but the Braves showed resiliency and made some quick adjustments before the first pitch. The biggest adjustment came when freshman Meagan Laughlin was thrust into the starting line up shortly before the Braves’ doubleheader against Bishop Ward.

Laughlin has played several positions, but what impressed coach Denise Chowning most was her ability to step in and play a position she had never even practiced before.

“The girls ended up coming in and not letting that take the momentum of the team down,” Chowning said. “I think that will give us a lot of confidence, too, knowing that we can support each other even when someone is out.”

The adjustments worked and the Braves recorded two lopsided victories, 19-2 and 15-4, to advance to a perfect 6-0 start to the season. While hitting and defense were more obvious strengths, the test of flexibility after the injury showed a different kind of strength for the Braves.

“We got our confidence up,” Chowning said. “We started 6-0 and so that is a great confidence builder going into some tougher teams. I think that is our biggest strength – getting our confidence up, knowing we can do it, and knowing how to play our game.”

Bonner Springs catcher Shelbie Thornton said that teamwork is driving their early season success.

“We all get along and we are positive and we keep each other up, and our bats are working right now,” Thornton said.

Thornton scored three of the first seven runs in the second game to give the Braves a boost. She said that beyond this game, she found motivation looking ahead to the Thursday matchup with De Soto, who is also undefeated after 9-5 and 4-3 victories against Holton.

“I was just ready,” Thornton said.

After the 19-2 victory in the first game, Bonner Springs got off to a slower start in the second game.

“We just got down on ourselves a little bit, but we got back up and fixed it and got back on top,” Thornton said.

The Braves slowly extended their lead however and eventually pulled out a second double-digit victory for the day.

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