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Shaler softball team young yet mighty

| Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

For fans who were not aware, this is supposed to be a rebuilding season for the Shaler softball team. It was hard to tell that by the performance against North Hills that saw the Lady Titans smash 14 hits in a decisive, 10-2 win.

The hit parade was highlighted by Brianna Dobson, who hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning to cap off the scoring for Shaler.

“The best thing about the team right now is the hitting,” Dobson said. “We had 14 hits … we just try to stay focused and do our best.”

Shaler did its best work a little at a time, sprinkling the runs over four innings.

The work at the plate was impressive because of the overall youth of the team, but lack of practice time due to rainy weather forced the squad to learn from games.

“These delays just make us want it more,” Shaler shortstop Maddie Mulig said. “If we have a weakness right now, its making sure we play our nonsection games as hard as we do our section games.”

Mulig said she wants to see the momentum stay up at all times.

The team looked fundamentally sound against North Hills, and Mulig said that's a testament to coach Skip Palmer.

“He made us do stations every day — we may not have liked it, but it helped,” Mulig said. “We have the confidence that any one of us can go up and get a clutch hit at any time.”

Six players recorded hits in the game.

Palmer said he was a little worried early this season but said his team is settling in.

“They are starting to believe in themselves and play experienced ball,” Palmer said. “They are a good team.”

Palmer was impressed by his freshman pitcher Dobson, and rightfully so. She gave up two runs on five hits, and despite getting drilled by a line drive, she hung in and finished the game.

“She threw 83 pitches, and she is keeping the ball down,” Palmer said. “She will be really good. We are just taking it slowly … she hit a home run, too, so I can't complain.”

Palmer is happy with the way the young team is maturing together and how well it is hitting and running the bases.

“They are doing what they are supposed to do and doing it correctly,” Palmer said.

The Lady Titans will be back in action on Monday, April 22, at home. The opponent is Seneca Valley at 3:30 p.m.

Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or jeclark@tribweb.com.

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