Softball, Sport News | February 11, 2014

CL Hawks Softball works on a Puzzle

Replacing McKenna Beseda will be a must for Canyon Lake this year.

Replacing McKenna Beseda will be a must for Canyon Lake this year.

Softball Preview for their opening games this week.

Canyon Lake did lose several players that were mainstays through these past few seasons.

There were some bats and gloves that will need to be replaced this season and those puzzle pieces will be put in place before district plays starts up.

 Players Lost based on last years stats:
 name                ave.   ab   r   h   bi   2b  3b  bb  so   Played
 McKenna Beseda     .473    74  25  35   12   3   1   4   12   Centerfield
 Lilimae Daily      .306    72  15  22   14   4   0   5    7   First Base
 Cassidy Riccio     .268    56   7  15    3   2   0   4   15   Second Base
 Vicky Henderson    .222    81  11  18    9   0   0   6   14   Short Stop
 totals             .318   283  58  90   38   9   1  19   48

That .318 batting average will need to be replaced but the bigger picture is in the defense.

The Hawks were pretty solid in centerfield and short stop while also losing the right side of the infield.

Watching how this club responds with different personnel in those areas will give a hint on what type of season will be in store.

Kelsey Ahrens is returning after spending most of last season at third base. Ahrens has also played first base and could be used at either spot.

Ahrens will also have a chance of giving Alexis Robinson some rest in the pitching circle.

Speaking of the circle, Robinson was also nails defensively there which certainly gives the Hawks

Jen Crownover sponsored this Softball article. Running for Comal County Commissioner Precinct 4

Jen Crownover sponsored this Softball article. Running for Comal County Commissioner Precinct 4

some good building blocks for those infield positions.

The Outfield will be another area to see what or who comes into their own this year and makes a splash.

Cameron Berger played leftfield and Liz Henderson was also a regular in rightfield. Being a year older and seeing what these two will produce will be key for Canyon Lake.

Berger also has experience in the circle and might be able to help Robinson at that position too.

Lots of questions defensively for CL and Head Coach John Gallagher will be working overtime to find those players that will give the Hawks a chance of playing longer after the regular season ends.

Robinson being in her second year will be that other ingredient on what will happen good or bad this season.

Last Year's Pitching Numbers:
                       ip    h    r   er   bb   so    era   W   L
 Alexis Robinson    130.2  106  133   59  120  179   3.17   8  14

What hurt Robinson more than any number above was her walks. Almost a walk per inning will have to be reduced.

When you add team errors to her equation, then you give the opponents way too many at bats per inning.

Canyon Lake off set those numbers with one of their best offensive teams since they started six years ago.

Robinson also had a very good strikeout ratio which offset walks and errors in those games last season. Remember that this young lady was just a freshman last year.

 Look how Robinson responded at the plate:
               ave   ab   r   h  bi  2b  3b  bb  so
 Alexis       .303   33   8  10   2   1   0   4   7   District     (10 games)
 Robinson     .400   45  11  18   7   4   2   0   0   Pre District (14 games)

Robinson was at the top of the batting order last year and that was a smart move in setting the table with base runners and putting pressure on the opposing teams.

When district started, Robinson started facing better pitchers and batters, so how this Sophomore holds up being a year smarter and stronger will give hope for a young team.

 Other Key Batters Returning:
 name               ave.   ab   r   h  bi  2b  3b  hr  bb  so
 Kelsey Ahrens     .347    75  14  26  10   7   0   0   5  15
 Brianna Young     .345    58   8  20  15   8   0   1  14   5

Young will be returning as the anchor behind home plate. Catcher is one of the more demanding defensive positions and having Young back for her Senior season will pay dividends for this young team.

So keys to this year?

1. Defense: how will the infield respond and who take the centerfield spot. Need to reduce errors.
2. What players will rise to the occasion offensively.
3. Will Robinson be rested enough when district play starts to finish strong and carry CL.
4. Only two players had 6 or more walks last season. Having patience and working walks can keep an inning going and wreak havoc on the competition.

Should be a fun ride and looking for those young players that Coach Gallagher said had speed will be fun to see how these puzzle pieces will fit.

Canyon Lake will start this Thursday in Navarro at Huber Ranch with three games.