Lady Flyers trounce Katy John XXIII, reach regional round

May 3, 2013 at 12:03 a.m.

Rudy Diaz reminded the St. Joseph softball team that the wind could work to their advantage.

Throughout much of Thursday's TAPPS Class 4A area round game, a steady breeze of 20 mph and more blew out to left field. The coach said it was ripe for a right-handed hitter to hit one out.

And freshman Hanna Novosad was one of those batters.

"I just stayed patient and waited for it, and I took the inside pitch, turned on it, and it went far," said the freshman second baseman. "The wind really helped hitting-wise."

The Lady Flyers (24-11) beat Katy Pope John XXIII in five innings Thursday, 12-1, using a big second inning and strong pitching to roll into the regional round.

They will face district mate Austin St. Dominic Savio on Tuesday in Seguin at 6 p.m. for a chance to reach the state tournament.

St. Joseph sent 14 batters to the plate in the bottom of the second and got 10 runs, with four off of home runs. Novosad's two-run homer was preceded by one by Amanda Sohrt, who clubbed one to center field.

Novosad's, though, was a laser out to left field, which cleared not only the outfield fence, but the next one over that marked out the adjacent soccer field.

"Even without the wind, that ball was gone," Diaz said.

The wind turned out to be a blessing for the offense but could have also been a curse for the defense, she said.

"I told them the wind was in their favor but not to think about it and just time it," he said. "That's exactly what happened."

Novosad finished 2 for 3 on the game with two runs. Sohrt was also 2 for 3 at the plate, with a homer and three RBIs.

The sophomore pitcher was key for the Lady Flyers, and she wasn't pitching 100 percent again, Diaz said, having not practiced the last two days.

He was prepared in case she was unable to go Thursday. But she did pitch - and did so with gusto - limiting John XXIII to two hits and two walks while striking out six.

"I made two lineups today, one with her pitching and one with Hanna (Novosad pitching) ... She was given the green light, and I told her, 'It's yours all the way,'" Diaz said. "It was a gutsy performance by her."



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