CANTON, April 25 — It’s taking time to put it together but Canton High coach Charley Batan feels that the Warriors could do something later this season.
“I feel really good about where we are,” he said. “The girls are improving and we’re starting to find our nietch. The chemistry is here and that will carry us.”
Canton (3-3, 3-2 NCCC) had only four hits Saturday afternoon but it was enough to beat a young Sport Science Medical Academy squad, 15-0 in five innings. The Warriors took advantage of 13 walks to earn the victory.
The Warriors used three pitchers – Jillian Petraitis, Jaela Davidson and Erica Nedderman. As a group, they gave up just one hit – a single to SMSA freshman shortstop Rianne Mayer in the fourth inning – and struck out six.
Batan has been coaching in Canton for 13 years. He began at the junior high level, moved up to junior varsity and has been leading the varsity team for four seasons. “This is the best chemistry I’ve had on a team in 13 years,” he said. “We work together. They all know each other and get along.”
Despite just three wins in the first six games, Batan sees a team that has the potential to advance in the Class S tournament. His first Canton team in 2012 advanced to the Class S semifinal while his 2013 team got to the quarterfinals before running into Thomaston. “We have enough pitching and I think we have enough offense and defense to win a state title,” he said.
The starting lineup is set with senior Katie Hill behind the plate, Davidson at first base, junior Emma Plourd at first base and sophomore Alexa Szczepanski at third base. Shortstop Katie Walker is playing softball for the first time but is a good enough athlete to step into one of the most demanding positions on the field and play it well.
In the outfield is Samantha Anderson (left field), Megan Hall (center field) and Sophie Pelehach and Erica Nedderman platooning in right field.
The ability of the Warriors to play multiple positions has been important with injuries and outside commitments (after school jobs) that have taken players off the field. There are just 18 players in the program and there is no junior varsity program.
Canton took a 4-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a RBI triple from Hill to left field and a RBI single from Anderson. The Warriors took command in the fourth inning with six runs off five walks. They clinched the contest in the bottom of the fifth with another five runs thanks to five walks from the Tigers.
Hill finished with two hits in a two-for-three performance. Petraitis and Anderson had the other hits for Canton.
The Warriors have three games upcoming. They host Public Safety (1-1), a CREC magnet school in Enfield, on Monday at 3:30 p.m., followed by a clash with Avon (1-7, 0-7 NCCC) at 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday. The homestand continues on Thursday when Canton hosts Ellington (6-1, 6-1).
Canton 15, SMSA 0 (5)
SMSA (2-6) 000 00 – 0-1-2
Canton (3-3) 400 65 – 15-4-1
Bebbe and K. Massamuro; Jillian Petraitis, Jaela Davidson (4), Erica Nedderman (5) and Katie Hill, Brooke Dotson (4); 2B: none; 3B: Hill (C); WP: Petraitis; LP: Bebbe