By Erin Bohn, ECS Student Liaison
Both the Ellicottville baseball and softball teams are in very competitive leagues this year, however, the teams keep putting forward their best efforts to play these bigger schools. Recent snowfall has added to the season’s challenges.
The Eagles baseball team’s record at present is two wins and six losses. The record reflects their success in some games, with less in others. With practice and perseverance, the teams have improved and are now headed in a positive direction.
ECS baseball player Jeffrey Brennan said, “The team is striving to do their best. Coach Mendell is pushing us and we’re living up to people’s expectations.”
According to Coach Chris Mendell, the team will find success through the contributions of the team’s seniors, both on and off the field. The seniors on the baseball teams are Josh Bower, Jeffrey Brennan, Zak Fisher and Connor Hellwig.
Connor Hellwig is the Eagle’s first pitcher and does an excellent job at keeping the games an even match. There is young talent on the team as well. Tom Easton is an eighth grader with promise. Easton is third on the team for hitting and second for pitching. Look for many more records from him in the future.
The baseball team’s next game is against Franklinville on May 1 at 4:30 p.m. ECS’s Baseball Classic is coming up soon in Jamestown where they’ll be playing at Diethrick Park.
Ellicottville’s softball team has also been working very hard this season. Their current record is four wins and three losses.
The team won the first four, twice against Salamanca and twice against West Valley. The losses were to Forestville, Chautauqua Lake and Maple Grove, all tough teams.
Coach Matt Finn explained that the league is full of strong, fast pitchers, so the team really has to focus on their batting.
Last year the team lost 10 seniors, so this year’s lineup is younger and smaller in size. The team’s four seniors are Sam Brooks, Ashley Golley, Jaimee Olsen and Kaitlyn Riethmiller. There are also five juniors and eight sophomores, with five of the sophomores starting in the last game.
Golley and Riethmiller are the team’s pitchers. Both have put many years and much effort into the position. This has paid off because they have both been pitching extremely well, striking out who they needed to in order to win or come very close.
The team does have a few areas in need of improvement, like in the field. Errors there have cost them opportunities that have culminated in a few losses. Batting skills need to be fine-tuned in order to hit the balls the many talented pitchers throw at them.
The weather this week has hampered practices. Instead of practicing inside first on batting and then outside in the field when the weather improved, the team had to take the opposite approach.
The Eagles are determined to hone their skills and their improvement is obvious in every one of the games, as the girls continually learn from previous mistakes.
Jaimee Olsen really summed up her team very well.
“The varsity softball team has had a great season so far. The girls have really worked well together as a team,” she said. “Our team is small, but we have still managed to come home with a few victories.”
The Eagles’ baseball and softball teams are both holding their own against competitive teams. These teams show potential for the rest of the season and for years to come. Both teams have the talent and are sure to show spectators many more exciting games.