ALTOONA-MIDWAY HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL
CHEROKEE – The scores may not have indicated as much, but Altoona-Midway’s high school softball team showed some strides of improvement during its Three Rivers League doubleheader against Southeast High School here Thursday.
Southeast won both games, 18-3 in the opener and 19-4 in the finale, but AMHS head coach Randy Almond still saw some encouraging signs.
“The scores don’t really show it, as they’re not much better than previous games, but it just felt better tonight,” Almond said. “We were more aggressive offensively at the plate, and defensively, we didn’t commit as many errors. The girls are getting more comfortable in the field.”
“Some positives were that we were able to score in the first inning in both games, so as visitors, we held the lead,” Almond noted. “We were able to make it to the fourth inning in the first game as well.”
Lady Jets leadoff hitter Abi Elsesser was able to reach base and come around to score to begin both contests. She created her own offense in the opener, drawing a walk, stealing second, and eventually scoring on a passed ball.
In the nightcap, Elsesser led off with a hit and scored on an RBI single by Mariah Stackhouse.
Elsesser enjoyed a great night offensively, reaching base on all five of her plate appearances, rapping out three hits and drawing two walks.
Summer Raymond and Emmalynn Pupanek each collected two hits for the Lady Jets, while Stackhouse, Kyra O’Connor and Jyl Davis each had one hit.
The Lady Jets also enjoyed their best offensive inning of the season in the opener. In the top of the fourth, five consecutive batters reached safely. Alyssa Relph was hit by a pitch, Pupanek bunted for a hit, and walks to Julia Hall and Elsesser were sandwiched around a single to right by Davis.
“We got around and pulled the ball to the left side of the field much more today, and Emmalynn played a little ‘small ball’ and reached on a couple of bunts,” Almond said.
“Overall, it just felt like we came out to battle today,” he added. “We brought a better attitude and a higher level of energy. We actually played better ball and had some fun.”
Altoona-Midway (0-14) is still hoping to reschedule a rainout with St. Paul. The Lady Jets will host Chetopa on Thursday, May 5.