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Democrat File Photo by Rob Potter

LAKIN CASTILLO holds her arm up in the air and looks at the catcher after throwing a pitch during a game this season.

Many Disappointments
For Fallsburg Girls

By Ted Waddell
Editor’s Note: This is the latest in our series of wrap-up stories about the county’s high school baseball teams and how they fared during the 2005 season. Please see more such stories in upcoming issues.
FALLSBURG — June 14, 2005 – The 2005 softball season wasn’t the brightest object in the sky for the Lady Comets of Fallsburg, as by year’s end they had recorded a disappointing 0-15 overall record and an 0-8 mark in Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division V competition.
“Due to a lack of numbers with the varsity program, I had to pull together the junior varsity and varsity teams,” Fallsburg Coach Chris Barnes explained.
“We had a lot of freshmen who never played before or only had one or two years of experience,” he added. “We had a huge lack of experience and maturity.”
Barnes said the focus of this spring’s varsity softball program was more on developing fundamental skills rather than racking up a bunch of wins.
“I tried to create a team dynamic, and I think we were successful because I saw a huge improvement throughout the season,” he said. “The girls were making consistent plays and gained a lot of confidence.”
Barnes said the best game of the season was against The Family School Lady Falcons, whom he noted “seemed to be our closest competitors.” It was a contest where the Lady Comets held the lead for a while.
“It was the first time the girls came together as a team and showed aggression,” Barnes said. “They showed a true competitive nature and really tried to win.”
As for the lowlight of the season, Barnes noted that the Lady Comets had a pattern of giving up after the first couple of innings once they started to fall behind on the scoreboard.
“They would be down, and wouldn’t try to come back,” he said.
Standouts in 2005 were senior Rachel Feller, whom Barnes said was “my best pitcher” and “could play any position from first base to the outfield” and freshman catcher Amanda Chan, whom the coach noted “really improved” as the season progressed.
Offensively, Barnes said the Lady Comet batters “were all about the same.”
Looking ahead to next season, Barnes said he’s only losing two seniors to graduation – Feller and Frances Melendez.
“I’m bringing back 15 girls with a year’s worth of experience,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll have a stronger team.”

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