The girls on the Evergreen High School’s softball team would like to clarify something — softball is not baseball lite.
“For people who know anything about softball, they know softball and baseball are two totally different games when you get right down to it,” junior second baseman Ariel Reggio said.
And if the team’s Aug. 26 game against Faith Christian — the Cougars’ second game of the season — is any indication, then Evergreen softball is maximum-strength.
The Cougars crushed the Faith Christian Eagles, 17-2. The game ended after four inning due to the mercy rule.
The Cougars had a number of things on their side — mainly home-field advantage and Faith Christian’s inexperience.
“I was really surprised when I saw how they were playing this game,” Evergreen senior Amanda Lanning said. “They had a really good, competitive team last year. They lost a lot of girls and have a new coach, so I know it has been a big adjustment for them, but I was still surprised.”
In the top of the second inning, Lanning opened up a close game with a three-run home run, giving Evergreen a comfortable 7-0 lead. Things got worse from there.
“It (was) my first home run at this field,” said Lanning, the Cougars’ lone senior. “I was gunning for it. (The coaches) tell me to hit it as hard as I can, so that’s what I go up there and tried to do.”
In the third inning, Eagles freshman Kaylyn Bulander stepped up to the plate for only her second varsity at-bat ever. For Bulander, along with six other players, the game against Evergreen was just their second varsity game, two days after the Eagles opened the season against Strasburg. It didn’t turn out all that well.
Bulander fouled off the first two pitches she saw from Evergreen junior pitcher Breeze Phillips before hitting a grounder back to her for an easy out.
Bulander barely had time to get out of the batter’s box before Phillips made the toss over to first base. But the outcome was a drastic improvement, if that’s possible, from the 20-1 defeat Faith Christian suffered against Strasburg.
“This game was far superior to our first game. I have 10 freshmen — seven that have never, ever played softball. They have had seven days of softball experience. So for only having seven days of experience, I think that they played pretty well, and I think the season can only get better,” Faith Christian head coach Mike Pickett said.
“They are usually a really strong team,” Evergreen head coach Scott Haebe said. “This was a good win for us, and I think that the girls are starting to feel really confident about the season.”