Softball season starts at feverish pitch

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - 23:00
Chugiak 2-0, and Eagle River 0-3

With six games in the first week, suspicions and expectations are being revealed quickly for local coaches Jim Huber, of Chugiak, and Eagle River’s Charlie Peyton.

Chugiak opened the season defeating Service, 8-0, Monday, April 21, then followed up with a 4-3 win over Dimond, Wednesday. Eagle River lost 6-1 to Bartlett in their open, then 9-4 to West.

Peyton is pleased with the team’s development.

“With such a young team, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I have been pleasantly pleased,” he said Thursday.

Shannon Jones has been in the pitching circle both games, throwing three strikeouts against the Bears, and one against the Eagles.

Franzie Otto scored the Wolves’ lone run against Bartlett, when after a walk, scored following two passed balls. The two had two hits in the contest, one apiece from Teagan Mergen and Ally Cameron.

After trailing 9-0, Eagle River erupted for four runs in the top of the fifth Wednesday, starting with a walk to Mikaela Dean, reported Peyton. After Maddie Barsalou reached on an error, Mergen delivered an RBI-single scoring Dean. Barsalou, Mergen and Cameron then followed up with unearned runs.

On April 24, Eagle River fell to the host Bears in Bartlett’s first game on their new home field. The pairing was the second between the two teams in the opening week of the season.

A nonconference contest, the 14-6 loss gives the young Wolves team opportunity to gain more experience without adversely impacting their league-standing.

Eagle River opened with a run in the top of the first, then yielded the lead, giving up five in the bottom of the frame en route to the victory.

Chugiak coach Jim Huber had hinted at the depth of this year’s squad, and so far, so good for the Mustangs.

Pitchers Katy Bakker and Juliette Montgomery each posted complete-game outings in wins over Service and Dimond, respectively, April 21 and April 23.

The Mustang infield has been solid throughout with shortstop Elle Gray accounting for numerous putouts including all three outs in the top of the fifth inning to close out the 8-0 win over the Cougars on opening day.

Chugiak benefited from the long ball in Wednesday’s 4-3 win over the Lynx, with Alise Arnold going 2-for-2, including a two-run dinger. Kate Arthen also provided a double.

During Chugiak’s win over Service, Katrina Grant went 2-for-2, with a double and two RBIs, with Gray also providing two hits. Arthen was 1-for-1 with an RBI, with Montgomery hitting a double in her only official at-bat.

The first meeting between the two local varsity teams is slated for May 17, 7:30 p.m. on Knik Field 2.

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