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LadyBulldog Softball outlook

By Sandy Jennings BCC Staff Writer

Courtesy photo
LadyBulldog Varsity Softball returners include Roxanne Gembler, Morgan Pardee, Sullivan Wilke, Jeannie Dickinson and Lyndsay Brown.

LadyBulldog Softball welcomes many new faces for the 2017 season, returning only four Varsity lettermen who are all sophomores. The LadyDogs lost their only returning senior and two-year letterman, Roxanne Gembler, to an injury sustained last year. Gembler will provide leadership in the dugout serving as the team player-coach and student trainer.
Bandera welcomed a total of 30 girls out for the season (7 juniors, 11 sophomores, 12 freshman), some with multiple years of competitive experience at various youth levels and a few that are new to the sport.
“We have a battle for starting spots at every position on both Varsity and JV right now and it's fun to watch these girls compete,” Head Softball Coach Jason Botos said. “We are going to be a very young and inexperienced 4A high school team, but we are going to compete with everyone we step on the field with. We have two good tournaments that will put our girls against some of the best programs around the state, and a tough non-district schedule to help prepare us for our district play.”
The Lady -Bulldogs had two scrimmages to start the season, on Friday, February 3, Bandera traveled to Del Rio with a mixed squad of 18 players, since soccer and basketball are still in season.
Our JV came out on top with a 8-6 victory and our Varsity played 3 innings of tough ball, then we started making little mistakes and Del Rio capitalized, ending the game with an 18-2 advantage over the Lady Bulldogs.
“Top performances came from freshman Jamie Whalen who played in both games at multiple positions (C, 1B, LF) and had a day at the plate; junior Jaydenn Hudson picked up the win for the JV with the pitching duties; freshman Caitlyn Thrasher also played in various roles for both squads and did real well on the bases; sophomore and returning third baseman Morgan Pardee had some good plays at third and reached safely every at-bat; and new to the sport sophomore Nicole Roman had a breakout game at the plate for the JV,” Botos said.
On February 11, the LadyDogs traveled to Sabinal for their final scrimmage of the season.
“Both teams competed well with the Varsity ending in a 3-3 tie and the JV falling in the final inning 8-5,” Botos said. “Sabinal is a well rounded program with one of the Region's top pitchers for all classifications and our girls battled in the box against her speed. This was also the first time we had returning pitcher Mattie Morrison in the circle for us this season and it was nice to see the girls play behind her.”
Morrison gave up 1 run over 3 innings of work, with solid defense behind her. Pardee played multiple positions during the scrimmage, and making plays across the field and was perfect at the plate scoring 2 of the 3 runs.
“Freshman Gabby Leyva put in good work both in the circle going two innings and driving in 2 runs at the plate as well,” Botos said.
The LadyBulldogs opened up regular season play Tuesday when they traveled to Kerrville and they head to Uvalde this weekend for tournament play.
“I look forward to some great ball this week as we continue to develop into a team,” Botos said.