Eli Ruiz | Democrat
A very young Monticello softball team finally had something to cheer about in soundly defeating Tri-Valley for its second win of the season.
Story by Eli Ruiz
BETHEL May 10, 2013 Both Monticello and Tri-Valley came into Monday’s softball contest hungry for just their second win of the season. But only the host Panthers would leave Collins Field sated, leveraging two 4-for-4 performances at the plate from senior catcher Caitlin Radlein and outfielder Brianna Bennett to rout the Bears 10-3 in a non-league game.
Radlein’s day included two doubles and four RBI, while Bennett was a home run short of the cycle with two doubles, a single and a triple, to boot.
“Caitlin is one of our senior captains and she certainly showed it out there today,” said Monticello coach Shannon Dietrich of her catcher, who joined the team just last season. “A lot of very positive things out there from her today, not only at the plate, but behind it as well,” added Dietrich.
Ashley Exner got Tri-Valley on the board early with a double to left off pitcher Morgan Holloran scoring Mikayla Clearwater in the first.
In the bottom half of the second frame, though, Bennett crushed a ball deep over the rightfielder’s head for a triple, setting up Radlein who lifted a ball that dropped in the infield scoring Bennett. The next batter, Alex Stant, sneaked a single past first to score Radlein giving the Monticello a 2-1 edge. A few batters later Victoria Kerendian lined a double to centerfield scoring Holloran and Erica Gonzalez.
Monticello put three more runs on the board in the third, taking a commanding 7-1 lead into the fourth inning. Tri-Valley capitalized on a couple of Monticello fielding miscues in the fourth to push across its final two runs.
Asked about her big day, a smiling Radlein said, “Just trying to get some hits out there. Just out there hitting and enjoying my senior year. We’re trying to develop the team here, so even though I can’t be here next season, I want to help develop this young team and maybe leave them with a little bit of my skill.”
Despite the errors in the fourth inning, Dietrich was pleased with her team’s defense.
“We’ve been working very hard on defense,” said Dietrich. “It’s been letting us down a lot this season, but the hard work looked like it really paid off today. I was really glad to see them so sharp today considering all the work we put in, because we’ve lost a few [games] on some pretty big mistakes. So it was really nice today that we were doing the little things out there and making plays. Fundamentals.”
With an extremely young squad comprised of just two seniors and eight sophomores Dietrich looks to the future, offering, “We’re young but I’ve got a group of really great, dedicated girls who just continue to work hard. That’s all I can ask from them; that they improve and get better each and every time they step out on the field. But yes, our outfield and our pitching staff are really young. They’re also constantly improving, so I think you’ll see us do some things the next couple of years.”
Tri-Valley fell to 1-11 with the loss while Monticello improved to 2-10.