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High school softball: Bees' great start helps them play with confidence

BRIGHAM CITY — The beauty of a team sport is that no one player has to shoulder the burden success or failure alone.

Some players, however, actually thrive on extra responsibility.

“I just like (pitching) because it fits my personality,” said junior Abbey Martin, who pitched the final inning of Box Elder’s 6-0 non-region softball win against Fremont Tuesday afternoon. “I just like always being there to back up the team.”

Senior pitcher Baylee Reeves feels similarly about the pressure of standing in the circle knowing the team is depending on your every move.

“I was bored at every other position,” said Reeves, who went 2-of-3 at bat with a double and two RBIs. “I feel like if I’m confident in myself, my team will have confidence, too.”

Both pitchers had the advantage of a great start offensively.

The Bees (9-0) started the game with Sadie Blackner earning a walk. Then Karly Bunderson laid down a bunt that got her on base and advanced Blackner. Kelsie Rodriguez followed with a bunt that loaded the bases, which allowed Vanessa Quintero’s hit drove in the first two runs. Myranda Hernandez was hit by a pitch and then Reeves hit a double that drove in a run, followed by Molly Horne’s single RBI. The last run of the inning was scored when Martin hit a single.

Box Elder coach Mandy Hodgson would prefer to have runs scored throughout the game rather than one inning, but she also sees the benefits of a strong start.

“I don’t like swing innings, but it helps the pitchers pitch with more confidence when the girls go out and give them some breathing room,” Hodson said.

The Bees finished with nine hits and no errors, while Fremont (4-4) earned four hits, including a double by left fielder Dina Stewart, and had two fielding errors.

Hodgson said the Bees weren’t as focused after that second inning and their offense stalled.

“We weren’t as disciplined at bat,” she said. “We didn’t come with that same focus.”

Still, she was pleased with the team’s defense, especially with the way they refused to let base runners score. The team even turned a double play after allowing a hit to lead off the fifth inning.

Hodgson said the girls enjoy playing Fremont even though it’s a non-region game because they know most of the players from summer leagues.

“They get a little excited for these games,” she said. “Fremont is a good team, and this game is more competitive. It gives them a reason to go out and get better.”

The team relies almost equally on both pitchers, which is something the players feel gives them an advantage.

“If I need help, I love it when she comes in,” Reeves said. “I think we compliment each other really well.”

Twitter: adonsports