The defending small school state
softball champion Kodiak Bears team opened their 2009 campaign with a lopsided
loss Thursday. However, the team's coach says there is no cause for alarm, as
the Bears continue the young season.
Kodiak dropped a 10-2 decision to Sitka Thursday, beginning their defense of their state
title much as last season began, with a loss to Sitka. Head softball coach Dave Allen said Sitka is one of the best
hitting teams around, and that starting a rookie pitcher against them presented
no small challenge.
-- (Allen 1 44 sec. "We went against I think ... their hitting capabilities.")
said the Kodiak team learned the value of a changeup in the season-opening
game, saying that they started employing the pitch much too late in the game,
while Sitka was
making effective use of it throughout. He did see bright spots in his team's
-- (Allen 2 22 sec. "They kept us off balance ... but it didn't.")
says the thought never enters his mind that his team is defending a title.
-- (Allen 3 14 sec. "We're just trying to ... did a pretty good job last night.")
from the team's defensive strengths, Allen says that pitching will come with
experience for its young staff, which lost its best pitcher from last season. Allen
is also confident offensive production will pick up, much as it did last season,
when the team dropped some games early, only to improve steadily as the season progressed.
-- (Allen 4 22 sec. "We need to give our pitchers
... some miles down the road.")
Aside from Sitka, Allen pointed to South
Anchorage as a team to watch out for given their outstanding
hitting. He said the season promises to be an exciting one, and that he likes
to play against the tougher teams, which fosters improvement across all aspects
of the team's skills and experience.
-- (Allen 5 22 sec. "We
have a variety of ... gives us the best
Returning for the
Bears this season are some of the team's best offensive regulars from their
championship season, including Janelle Tirona, Heather Carlson, Emily Garner,
Cimone Trout and Addie Jones, all of whom hit over three hundred last year. The
team was scheduled to face Sitka again and South
at home Friday and Sitka
yet again Saturday. The season continues with ten more games, the final eight
of which will be played on the road.