Sports Update – April 10, 2012
Hot Springs, VA and Dunmore, WV – The Bath County Chargers tennis team is undefeated after five matches. Coach Mike Bollinger says the team is exceeding all expectations.
“Well, we surprised me a little bit,” he said. “In the first part of the season, we don’t have a whole lot of experience coming back. We had three players who had actually played a singles match, before the season started, but we started off very well. We won our first three matches – two of them against double-A schools way bigger than us. So, we’re pleased with the way it’s going, so far.”
Following the coach’s interview, the team defeated triple-A Greenbrier East and, on Monday, defeated Pioneer District rivals Parry McCluer. Bollinger says his team is using hustle, not power, to rack up victories.
“We run the ball down and we get the ball back,” he said. “We don’t really hit the ball all that hard. None of us really have any overpowering shots. Our strengths are, we hustle and we run and we make people play.”
In Monday’s victory over McCluer, Rebekah Blake, Katelyn Rice, Rachel Robertson and Ali McLaurin won singles matches, and Robertson and McLaurin won their doubles match.
Senior Melanie Vaughan says she was nervous before the season started.
“It looks really good,” she said. “I was a little nervous because we had a bunch of new people, but they are doing really great. You can really see the improvement. They’re all really cool. They’re working really hard and still having fun. So, it’s nice to be able to play with them. I enjoy it.”
Senior Sarah Wright, sporting a 4-1 singles record, has the hardest serve on the team. Like Vaughan, the veteran racketeer says she’s not worried anymore.
“I would have to say I was a little bit worried because we had six new girls come out – freshmen,” she said. “They have really stepped up and they’re doing great. We’ve all kind of come together as a team, and it’s looking like a pretty good year.”
The Chargers will try to improve their record to 6-0 with a home match against Alleghany on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
In local baseball action, the Pocahontas Warriors won their home opener against Tygarts Valley on Monday afternoon. The Bulldogs defeated Pocahontas just a week ago in Mill Point.
Senior shortstop Steve Halterman, who hit two home runs on Monday, says fewer errors allowed the Warriors to turn the tables on the Dogs.
“We just didn’t make many errors today,” he said. “We played really good baseball. We didn’t throw the game away.”
Senior pitcher Garrett Clark, with a complete game for the win, said the team overcame a rocky start.
“Well, compared with today, we got off to a rough start,” he said. “In the beginning, we were making errors and not really making contact with the ball. But, to this date, we’re making good contact, not making as many errors and playing as a team.”
Coach Jim McCoy agrees – the team is playing better.
“We just finally hit the ball,” he said. “Less errors and we’re playing better. We played well Friday at Philip Barbour. We’re just playing better baseball right now.”
The Warriors sport a 3-4 overall record and will try to reach .500 Tuesday afternoon with a home game against arch-rivals Pendleton County. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.