If there’s one team itching for the Coronavirus pandemic to pass so they can get back to action, it’s the Boerne High softball team.
BHS is loaded this year and has a legitimate shot at a promising postseason run. In fact, the topic of advancing to the state tournament is a discussion the Lady Hounds have had, and why not?
Boerne High has pretty much beaten up anyone that has gotten in their way this year. The Lady Hounds ended non-district play at 18-4 and have hit 26 home runs in the 22 games played and two of their losses have come to state-ranked 6A teams.
Greyhounds coach Chester Pettibon said state is definitely one of their goals, but added that they’re more focused on getting through district play whenever the UIL allows teams to resume action. It’s not sure what kind of schedule or format the teams will have to follow once that happens, if it happens.
“They have talked about winning state, which is good because you have to say it and believe it for you to get there, but at the same time, there’s a lot more focus and hunger to get there. As long as we can focus and stay hungry, we’ll be okay,” he said. “It’s been talked about a lot, but the only pressure is what they put on themselves. They’re real good about playing the game and whatever happens, happens.”
The school record for home runs is 47 by the 2007 state champion BHS team who played 47 games that season and averaged one home run per game that year. This season’s team is averaging more than one per contest but Pettibon said home runs are secondary to winning.
“They’re not into the home run derby like they were last year, as long as they win they have fun with it,” he said. “Last year they were all trying to see where the pecking order was and how everybody fit, but they’ve just gelled because it went from a competition to it doesn’t make a difference to we just need to win. That’s kind of the attitude this year, let’s just win and advance.”
A look at the team
Included on this year’s team is Isa Renteria, Brooke Sivek, Cameron Cooper, Madison Dorrow, Shelby Wright, Mackenzie Vasquez, Andrea Saucedo, Dillen Cooper, Kaleigh Pruett, Reese Wilson, Chandler Pittman, Ava Nieto, Ava Rodriguez, Taryn Madlock, Ariella Nieto, Tori Riebel and Heidi Maytum.
Sivek was named the District 28-4A Newcomer of the Year last season as a freshman, Dorrow was a first-team pitcher as a freshman, Saucedo was a first-team catcher, Vasquez was a first-team infielder and Riebel was a first-team designated player.
Ariella Nieto was a second-team infielder and Wilson was a second-team outfielder as a freshman, while Pruett was an honorable mention outfielder.
Pettibon said he has confidence in all of his players.
“We probably have a lot more players than what we’ve had in the past, we have 16 or 17 and I think that all of them are pretty good,” he said. “They contribute in some form or fashion but when it gets down to district you have to start playing who you think is going to do the job in certain situations.”
One of the reasons the Lady Hounds are talking about state is because they went four rounds last year and bring most of that team back. Boerne High’s season ended in the regional semis or fourth round.
As good as they were playing before the mandated break because of the coronavirus, Pettibon said there’s always room for improvement.
“We have to be consistent from game to game in what we do and we’ve made a few base running errors that we’re going to have to fix,” he said. “We’re going to be aggressive so we’re going to make a few mistakes here and there, but it’s something we need to talk about.”
A look at the district
Last year’s Boerne team went 31-9 overall and finished 7-3 in district for second place.
Included in this year’s district are the Lady Greyhounds and last year’s district champ Fredericksburg, along with Bandera, Wimberley, Canyon Lake and Llano, the same crew as last year.
Boerne lost once to Fred, Bandera and Wimberley in their three district losses in 2019. Pettibon said all of the teams are capable of winning against the other.
“Fredericksburg looks strong and Canyon Lake is an unknown and Llano is an unknown, you don’t know because you don’t get to see them play a lot but you can’t take anybody lightly. Nobody talks about Bandera, but they’re one of those teams that snuck up on us last year,” he said. “That’s one of the things we talked about, staying focused not only for Canyon Lake and Fredericksburg, but for Bandera and Llano. Wimberley graduated that stud pitcher, but they’re one of those teams that if you go to sleep, they’ll get you too, it’s not that you can relax with any team in our district.”
Beyond district, Pettibon said Giddings, Liberty Hill, La Vernia and Smithville are just some of the teams they might face once the playoffs begin, but added that his team doesn’t need to focus on that right now.
“I’ve looked at it, but their job is not to look at that stuff, their job is to stay focused. I don’t want them looking ahead because a team can sneak up and punch you in the throat and you’re done,” he said. “Their job is to just play the games and my job is to go scout all these teams and make sure we’re as prepared as they can be.”