Cougars get aggressive, setting new trend

SALEM - The North Warren Softball team has boosted the level of their play that may turn around a several-season slump, coach Shannon Phelps said Monday. In 2009, the team finished 1-15.

Friday, the team defeated Salem 19-7 on the Generals' own field, a pleasant surprise to area sports fans.

Last year and for several games early this year, the team has been on an extended losing streak.

Not any more, coach Shannon Phelps said Tuesday, when asked about Friday's 19-7 score - a far-greater margin than others might expect of this maverick squad.

"Against Salem, we were just able to hit the ball well, and we got it together in the field," Phelps said.

Pitcher Rachael Kenney, a Senior, controlled the pace of the game, Phelps said.

"Kenney's been on fire, throwing harder - and a lot of strikes," she said.

Junior Abby Bruce, was moved from left field to second base, and the move boosted the toughness of the infield, Phelps said.

But without a doubt, they're now also connecting with their bats. Phelps said they may not be slamming them over the fences, but they are placing the hits well in the gaps.

Well, that's with the exception of Senior first base standout Kelsey Hamblin and solid Junior catcher Morgan Tennyson. They both crushed the ball, hitting home runs far past Salem's fielders. Tennyson also blasted two doubles and five RBIs, and Sophomore Charissa Cronk hit three singles.

"The girls have been gone from timid to being aggressive at the plate," Phelps said. "They're not only hitting well, but they're aggressive running the bases."

Monday, the Cougars aggressive play continued, although the result was a 10-15 loss to Fort Edward.

She added that her players were playing "solid ball" with minimal errors, and other teams shouldn't make any assumptions from here on out.

"We're going to take advantage of any opponents not paying attention on the field," she quipped. "We'll be playing very competitive ball."

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