Lady Spartans notch all-important first victory

By Dan Karpiel
The Surveyor

The first step is often the hardest one.

In scratching out a 7-5 win over Mead on Aug. 23 in their first game of the season, the young Berthoud High School (BHS) softball team notched not only an all-important win in what figures to be a hotly-contested Tri-Valley Conference (TVC), but also got a booster-shot of confidence.

“It’s definitely an important win, and I think it built our confidence up a little bit,” said Berthoud catcher Hannah Langer, who turned in a 1-3 day at the plate with an RBI and a run scored.

“It’s good to get the first game jitters out … I would say we played well,” said Berthoud Head Coach Buddy Kouns.

Three straight doubles from Addie Spears, Sarah Jorissen and Ashylnn Balliet were part of a five-hit, five-run fifth that gave the Lady Spartans a lead they would not relinquish. Those three, in addition to Delaney Fouts and Tristan Pope, crossed home plate in the frame as Berthoud turned a 3-2 deficit into a 7-3 lead.

Jorissen, who played in all 22 games last season as a freshman but had only four innings of work from inside the circle, got the start as Berthoud’s newly-minted ace and surrendered only one earned run in seven innings of work. Jorissen allowed the Lady Mavericks to scatter seven hits and walked four, but four of Mead’s five runs came as a result of Berthoud fielding errors.

“I think Sarah pitched great today,” Kouns said, “The one thing we will work on is when she got ahead in the count she was catching too much of the plate … we want her to spot a little bit more but, you know what, she’s going to be just fine.”

Balliet, Berthoud’s freshman starter at third base, notched the Lady Spartans first hit of the 2016 season with a single in the top of the second inning and scored their first run − after stealing second and advancing to third on a passed ball – on a Langer double two at-bats later. The senior catcher beat the relay throw at home plate to score when Morgan Schachterle singled, her first of a team-high three hits on the afternoon.

“This is definitely important to come in here and be the underdog and show them that we’re here to play,” Langer said. “We came together as a team and, yeah you know, we had a few errors, but that’s to be expected in the first game.”

Berthoud (1-0, 1-0 conf.) will welcome TVC rival Roosevelt (0-1, 0-1 conf.) to Bein Field in Berthoud for their home opener on Aug. 25. The following night, the Lady Spartans will host Thompson Valley for a rare under-the-lights game at 7 p.m.