By Tom Williams
Nothing warms a softball coach’s heart on a frosty day quite like two-out lightning.
“Awesome” was how Poland High head coach Matt Campbell described his Bulldogs’ clutch production in Wednesday’s 14-2 victory over Girard.
The Bulldogs’ first seven runs in their opener were scored with two outs.
“It’s a testament to the girls and how hard they’ve worked,” Campbell said. “And how they’ve been champing at the bit to get outside and play”
Game-time temperature was 36 degrees.
“It was way better to be out here,” senior center fielder Marissa Trevis said of being given a choice between another indoor practice or experiencing some chills.
In the second inning, Trevis hit an opposite-field triple over Indians left fielder Marissa Hollis to give Poland a 3-0 lead.
Trevis said she wasn’t sure how well she had connected on the pitch from Neco Maderitz (2-1) until she was almost to first base.
“Yeah, I looked,” Trevis said of seeing the ball land. “I knew I had made [solid] contact with the barrel of my bat.”
Campbell wasn’t surprised at how well the left-handed Trevis hit the ball.
“That’s Marissa’s MO,” said Campbell after his first win as Reid Lamport’s successor. “If she stays on the pitch and doesn’t pull off, she hits opposite field better than most. She has a very nice, clean swing.”
One inning later, Anna Barnhart tripled to deep left to scored Meredith Testa and Arlia Duarte for a 5-0 lead. Singles by Kasie Serich, Ally Deemer and Trevis produced two more runs.
That was more than enough support for Serich, who said she had waited three years for the chance to start on the mound.
For the past four seasons, Erin Gabriel (University of Tennessee) started most of Poland’s games. Jenna Modic (Miami of Ohio) pitched the others.
“I’ve just been waiting for this moment a long time,” said Serich, a senior who scattered seven hits and took a shutout into the sixth inning. “It felt really good to finally get out there and show everyone what I have.
“It was a good feeling of knowing my team was hitting, helping me out,” Serich said of the comfort of a big lead early.
For the Indians (2-1), freshman catcher Gabby Cario’s two hits included a two-run double in the sixth inning.
Serich (1-0) said the hardest part of pitching on such a cold day is keeping her arm warm. She wore a hoodie sweatshirt and gloves while the Bulldogs were batting.
“And it’s harder to spin the ball,” said Serich who added that she didn’t mind the cold because she was too busy being “focused on throwing.”
Campbell said the Bulldogs’ bats were struggling in scrimmages.
“Today they were clicking and to do it against a very good pitcher makes it that much better,” Campbell said.
Trevis also reached base on an error and scored one of Poland’s five runs in the seventh inning.
Asked how much pain she felt when her bat met the ball, Trevis said, “Oh, it hurts, but it goes away after a few seconds and the hit is totally worth the pain.”