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St. Joseph softball swinging toward TAPPS district play

By BY WILL BROWN - WBROWN@VICAD.COM
March 3, 2013 at 12:02 a.m.
Updated March 2, 2013 at 9:03 p.m.


A home tournament was the final test ahead of more strenuous games for the St. Joseph softball team.

Saturday's 11-1 win over Rockport-Fulton means the Lady Flyers will enter TAPPS District 3-4A play with a winning record. At 7-5 Rudy Diaz's team escaped the non-district season tested and playing some of its strongest softball of the season.

Paige Terrell was perfect at the plate (3 for 3) scored three runs, stole two bases and drove in a run to cap off a five-game weekend at the St. Joseph tournament.

"I did a lot of experimenting with my outfield," Diaz said. "Other than that, it's pretty well established at other positions. I think Amanda Sohrt is ready to start the first district game Tuesday night against San Antonio Christian."

Sohrt picked up her second win of the season when she allowed an earned run on four hits in Saturday's five inning victory. The sophomore also smacked a double and scored a pair of runs.

Bailey Knippa, Beth Bigham, Chloe Walter and Sarah Sainz all took turns flanking senior center fielder Paige Terrell. Sainz will be in left when she's not in the pitching circle while right field will be rotated throughout the season.

Sainz will split the pitching duties with Sohrt and freshman Hannah Novasad. The tournament gave Diaz a chance to see all three for extended innings for the first time this season. Previously, Novasad had basketball commitments and Sohrt missed the first few games of the season.

Nonetheless, St. Joseph finished its tournament with a 4-1 record. The only blemish was a 3-2 loss to East Bernard in 10 innings.

Friday's loss to the Brahmas meant all five St. Joseph losses were to University Interscholastic League schools. Four of those defeats were to teams with far bigger enrollments.

"I'm pretty happy with my pitching staff," Diaz said, adding the three have different strengths and out pitches. "We're loaded with pitching this year, so I'm pretty confident with my pitching."

The other half of the battery isn't too shabby as Mariah Clay has developed into an on-field leader behind the plate.

"She has one of the best arms in the area, that I've seen," Diaz said. "She's only a junior so I'm excited to have her for another year. She's like an extra coach on the field. She watches everything and she's one heck of a team captain. We just love her to death."

With most of the starting positions settled, and some of the team leaders like Mariah Clay, Peyton Cuellar and Terrell stepping up to the plate, the Lady Flyers are ready for whatever challenges better than Rockport-Fulton will throw at them.

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