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Bell-Jeff wins irivalry game

April 07, 2001

Sang Lee

GROSS PARK -- It might be a little unfair for Providence High softball

team to judge its season in wins and losses. Considering almost the

entire team is new to the program, the Pioneers' 5-3 nonleague loss to

Bellarmine-Jefferson High on Friday at Gross Park was not all that bad.

"We played very well and inspired ball," Providence Coach Tony King

said. "Half these girls couldn't catch [the ball] at the tryouts. And

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people who didn't think they would make the team are now starting."

The game might have been closer if the inexperienced Pioneer squad had

not given up three runs off errors in the first inning.

"We had one bad inning but we battled hard. We're experimenting with

positions but we're starting to jell and play more as a team," King

added.

Bell-Jeff (3-5) was led by starting pitcher Christina Saldana, who

threw a complete-game, allowing one earned run and picking up four strike

outs. She improved her record to 3-4.

"[The team] was up to winning this game," said Bell-Jeff Coach Marco

Saldana, who has not beaten Providence in his three years at the Guards'

helm.

"It's been a while [since we beat them]. It's a good feeling. It was

the best game we ever played. We have young girls and they played their

hearts out."

Theresa Reyes led the Guards with two singles and two runs.

"Theresa did a great job today. She played a very good game," Saldana

said.

The Pioneers (1-12) got on the board in the third inning when Candice

Koeth drove in Stephanie Cowan from third base.

Bell-Jeff answered in the fourth as Jennie Arboleda was guided home as

Threresa Reyes' hit blooped into right field.

Both teams matched runs in the fifth and sixth innings.

Down, 5-2, in the bottom of the seventh inning, Providence added a run

when Cowan doubled in Jennifer Hanson from second base.

But not even the emotional chants from the Pioneer bench was enough to

cool down Saldana on the mound. Saldana finishedby recording a strike out

with the potential game-tying batter at the plate.

Providence's leadoff hitter Jennifer Hanson finished the game hitting

three for four with two runs. Candice Koeth and Stephanie Cowan both

added two hits earc, with Cowan scoring the team's only other run.

"We battled hard. But we're a very young team with only one returning

senior. I've got three freshmen starting. We're still a

work-in-progress."

The Pioneer's sole victory came on Mar. 7, a 21-3 trouncing against

St. Genevieve. Their next game will be against league foe, Windward on

Tuesday at Olive Park.

Bell-Jeff will look try to pick up its first league win as it will

face Cantwell Sacred Heart on Monday.

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