The Berks-Mont News (http://www.berksmontnews.com)

Freshmen to play a big part of the Oley softball success


By Phil Haddad, For Journal Register News Service

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bruce Moyer is in his 23rd year as the head softball coach at Oley Valley High School. The team is off to a good start with a record of 6-2. Moyer knows that although they’re off to a good start, they still have work to do. The Lady Lynx have one senior, five juniors, two sophomores and six freshmen. There are times when Moyer is starting between two to four freshmen in the game.
“We’re getting the young ones into how we do things compared to junior high when they come up,” said Moyer. “We’re teaching them the little things which win you games. Over the year, you learn stuff like that.”
Having freshmen playing high varsity is a big concern due to the lack of experience. “It’s on the job training,” said Moyer with a laugh. “Some of the freshmen that came up are pretty good.”
One of the freshmen (Brooke Yerger) is the team’s lead-off hitter, and can play left field, second base or pitcher. She’s doing quite well so far this season.
“She’s adjusting well, coming up to varsity.” Yerger pitched a one-hitter against Tulpehocken.
Danielle Knowles is batting towards the bottom of the line-up,and is playing right field for the Lady Lynx. Moyer and his coaches are working with Knowles on her hitting.
Amber Wiseman is another freshman who is playing left field.
Amanda Hartman is the other pitcher and the lone senior on the team.
Juniors Kailey Eyrich (first base), Kenidy Kubitz (centerfield), Sydney Majowicz (first base), Danielle Weber (designated player/catcher), Shannon Yoder (second base/catcher) are all starting for Moyer. Also starting is Heather Rissell a sophomore who is playing shortstop for the Lady Lynx. Moyer notes that Risell is hitting the ball quite well.
The team did lose a very tough 2-1 non-legue game to Daniel Boone High School early in the season.
“I think we learned a lot from it,” said Moyer. “It’s always good facing competition like that.”
Moyer is happy with how the team is doing so far. The one concern that he does have is the younger players and their hitting. The pitching they will face this year is a lot different from the pitching they faced in junior high. There will be a lot of learning going on this season in Oley.
“I’m really pleased starting three ninth graders and being successful at the same time,” said Moyer. “I couldn’t be more happy.”
If the team is going to do well this spring, the freshmen are going to have to learn a lot in a short amount of time.
The expectation for the team is to make the playoffs,both county and district. Moyer knows that the top two teams that his team will face are Kutztown and Brandywine Heights. Moyer feels that his team can’t make more than one error against either Kutztown or Brandywine if they want to win the game. Moyer feels that they have a good shot to make the playoffs.
“I think if we keep going like this, we have a good shot to make districts,” said Moyer. “If we keep winning games, we’ll make the playoffs. They go by the power ratings for districts.
“We’re always competitive. We have just one senior so next year should be promising.
The biggest strength is that if the team continues to be the defense. It will help the team stay in the game.
Moyer also knows that the pitchers have to keep their pitches down which will dictate the team’s success. “If we’re patient, the hitting will come around,” said Moyer.
Moyer never likes admitting that he’s rebuilding, but that’s basically what’s happening here. But that doesn’t mean the team can’t win as well.
Coach Moyer is hoping the older players will help the younger players when they’re struggling with something.
“In my opinion, that helps with the team getting along and team unity,” said Moyer. “Sometimes it’s hard teaching everyone, especially when you get a big class like this.”