By Jeremy McDonald
CANBY, Ore.–Rebuilding isn’t an easy task, but it helps when you have a young team to help build a foundation for the future.
With only three or four returners from last years, 2-23 team the North Salem Viking softball team have already matched their win total in just four games this season with four freshmanplaying the infield and returning both pitchers from last years squad; one area that Head Coach Jay Elders is a are they need to improve upon as they polish off the general edges as a whole,
“With four freshmen that are on Varsity, that’s a pretty good foundation,” said Elders. “One thing that we really need, is to work on pitching. I had the same two pitchers that we had last year and those are the only two pitchers that I still have.
“They’re working really hard. They’re taking lessons, they’ve gotten better but right now they’re still not good enough.”
Elders points as well that mental lapses is just a part of them continuously working through the growing pains that any young team goes through.
“The girls can take from that is that we continue to work hard every day and we just need, those momentarily lapses where we give up a play, or we make an error, we need to see where we can battle back through that adversity.”
Tuesday’s doubleheader at Canby High gave this young team, this rebuilding program, a good measuring stick, for where they are at to battle through adversity, to play through their mental lapses so they can improve as players and as a team.
They had a lead on the 4A runner-up in their opener versus McLoughlin, and though they lost that one 16-4 and you saw their frustration in their run-shorten game versus Elmira; their first-year Head Coach in Elders reminded them that tomorrow is a new day as they travel to play two versus Century.
“The lessons I like my girls to learn are,” starts Elders. “One, communication. We need to communicate, we’re a very young team. We always have to keep our heads up and think positive every play, every girl has a spot to be in, so we need to be sure we’re in that spot to back it up.
“We have to have momentum on every play and right now, we’re not moving on every play and we still have to get that fundamental movement down on every single play.”
As Elders points to, they’re a young team and they are still learning. It’s as much a learning process as a rebuilding process as they prepare to take on the Jaguars Wednesday.
“The main thing is that they just have to keep working hard, they need to have a short-term memory and you just got to go out and you got to grind it out,” said Elders. “The repetition part of it, about getting better is the repetition, going out there and going through the motions. Keep doing that fundamental motion, work on your technique.
“Every little play matters. So, they just have to keep going forward tomorrow against Century and we talked about it to the kids: If the first game against Century goes bad, how are we going to battle back through that adversity that second game? So, you got to stay up and you got to stay positive and you got to encourage people. Make them feel better about themselves and working hard.”
First pitch for both games are at 10am and at noon at Hillsboro Stadium-East Field.
Follow Jeremy McDonald on Twitter at @J_McDonald81 or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!
Photos By Jeremy McDonald