Girls are on the upswing
Catasauqua head softball coach Paige Kogelman understood the softball program would need to slowly be cultivated to get back to their days as a Colonial league perennial favorite.
These days, the process appears to have taken an upswing.
After Monday’s 10-5 loss to Northern Lehigh, the Rough Riders fell to 4-5 overall, as they are just one win away from having matched their win total from a 5-14 campaign last year, and seemingly light years away from their 0-19 season two years ago.
Watching her club be spearheaded by a sprouting sophomore class, Kogelman has managed to keep everything in its proper perspective.
“The team is coming together slowly,” said Kogelman. “Offensively, we have been doing well throughout the entire lineup. They’re continuing to pick each other up at the plate.
“Defensively, we have to implement our fundamentals at all times consistently.”
Sophomore pitcher Delaney Troxell has been the catalyst for the team. She began the week hitting .565 with a team-high 12 hits along with six RBIs. Troxell had 48 strikeouts to begin the week.
“Delaney leads in every practice and from the circle,” said Kogelman. “She always is willing to help her other teams out with fundamentals.”
Troxell has seen plenty of progress.
“Our season is going well so far,” she said. “We have our ups and downs, but we prepare in the next practice to come back. Everyone on the team works hard and they try their best to learn the game and become a better player.
“We are bonding very well with each other and communicate on and off the field. I’m very excited to see how the rest of our season will go.”
Kogelman also has looked to sophomore catcher Sophia Becker, who was hitting .500 with seven RBIs. She also has been solid behind the plate.
“Sophia is consistent both offensively and defensively,” said Kogelman. “She is willing to step up and lead at any moment. She brings the energy and encourages every girl to play to her potential.”
Junior infielders Alivia June and Whitehall transfer Timari Wilkins have blossomed into steady contributors. June was hitting .522 and Wilkins was hitting .333.
“Both of them have transitioned into leadership roles on our senior-less team,” said Kogelman. “I can always count on them to keep the girls focused and hold them accountable.”
Fellow junior centerfielder Cora Soltis took on a leadership role last season, and she has extended it to this season. Soltis was hitting .526 with seven RBIs.
“Cora is another eleventh grader who leads on both sides of the ball,” added Kogelman. “She has formed into a promising centerfielder and leads by example.”
Junior first baseman newcomer Nayeksa Miranda – an Executive Education transfer – has made a relatively smooth transition. Miranda began the week hitting .235.
“She has joined the family with ease, and the team would not have the same upbeat attitude without her,” noted Kogelman. “She is one of the strongest first baseman in the league. She will do whatever it takes to keep the ball in front of her.”
With a heavy schedule ahead due to rainouts, Kogelman knows her team will face many challenges.
“We have a busy schedule ahead,” said Kogelman. “We have to continue to grow and support each other.
“We are growing a good chemistry, and we’re learning how to take the next step.”