Young Woodridge softball sputters at season's end

Roger Gordon
Correspondent
Woodridge Bulldogs

A disappointing season came to a disappointing conclusion for the Woodridge softball team.

The Bulldogs lost their last four games, including a 6-4 defeat May 20 at home against Kent Roosevelt and a 10-0 five-inning, mercy-rule loss May 21 at home to Metro Athletic Conference rival Norton.

Woodridge finished the season with a 9-17 overall record and a 5-9 MAC mark.

“We always shoot for nothing less than .500, but we did start off pretty slow,” Bulldogs head coach Dan Schneider said. “We had a lot of people at new positions. It took time to adjust to the new spots on the field. As time went on, we didn’t change people around.

“As the season went on, it showed that we had a lot of fight left in us. I think that, as the season went on, we got better. We had three one-run losses, and we also had three come-from-behind wins in which we were down going into the bottom of the seventh. We pulled three wins off, and we had the opportunity to win at least another three games that we were definitely in until the end of the game.

“Offensively, at times it was very good, but we ran hot and cold. One game we’d hit real well, but the next game we’d struggle to get a hit. It wasn’t as good as I’d have liked.

“Pitching-wise, I can’t complain too much. Kendal Gregory, a junior, was second-team All-MAC. Sometimes we weren’t able to support her with enough offense. Sometimes we had costly errors on defense while she was pitching. Defensively, we started out a little shaky, but it came on as the season went on. Kendal was more than willing to take the ball and try to get us the win every time she was out there.”

In the loss to Kent Roosevelt, senior center fielder Bella McBride doubled twice, singled and had an RBI. Junior second baseman Emily Dennison singled, doubled, knocked in a run and scored once.

In the loss to Norton, singling were McBride, senior catcher/designated player Alivia Collura, sophomore first baseman/left fielder Lexi Mathis and freshman shortstop/pitcher Sarah Rathbun.

McBride led Woodridge with a .470 batting average, 15 doubles and 30 RBIs. McBride, Dennison, Rathbun and senior left fielder Abby Bergdorf each led the Bulldogs with two triples. McBride and Dennison led the way with five stolen bases apiece. Rathbun led Woodridge with 28 runs scored, and Collura’s four home runs were tops on the team. Collura was second on the team with a .405 batting average.

McBride was All-District and first-team All-MAC. Collura, as a designated player, and Dennison were honorable mention All-MAC.

“All three of our seniors, Alivia, Bella and Abby, played through injuries to be able to complete their senior years,” said Schneider. “We’re going to miss all three of them.”

As for next year, Schneider will have his entire starting infield back, including junior Alyssa Tiffe behind the plate.

“I think we’re going to mature,” he said.