Through the first seven and a half innings of Bethlehem softball this week, it was the same old story. The Eagles allowed a total of seven runs while scoring none.
But all of that changed in the bottom of the first inning of last Friday's game against Averill Park when Bethlehem scored three runs. The Lady Eagles went on to defeat the Warriors 12-4.
Bethlehem needed to get on the scoreboard quickly after pitcher Toni Edwards gave up four runs to Averill Park in the top of the first inning.
Same old situation happens; first inning blues, said coach Karen Gentile.
Then, before the top of the second, while the rest of the team was warming up, co-captain Erika Danz went out to the mound. She put her hands on Edwards' shoulders and said something, and whatever she said, it worked. Edwards allowed as many hits over the next six innings as she had runs in the first inning (four), she didn't allow a run and she had 10 strikeouts.
While Edwards dominated the lineup, the rest of the Lady Eagles dominated Averill Park's pitchers. In five out of the six innings that Bethlehem was up to bat, they scored. They had four stolen bases and nine runs batted in.
"Our bats came alive today," said Gentile. "It shows you our potential, and (the result) wasn't even as good as it could have been."
This, however, was not the case in last Wednesday's 3-0 loss to Columbia. The Blue Devils scored all of their runs in the first two innings, which proved to be enough as Bethlehem managed only one hit " a Mary Beth Dombrowski single in the bottom of the first inning.
Despite getting one hit, Bethlehem did get solid contact on most of its outs, striking out only twice during the game. It was obvious from this performance that the Lady Eagles were poised to "break out soon," Gentile said.
The Lady Eagles must continue to hit and pitch as well as they did in the last six and a half innings of last week if they want to try and compete with Shenendehowa for the Section II title. If they do, there is no telling where they could go.