White connects for a hit

The ball leaves the bad after Grace White connects.

The Delta High School Girls Softball team opened the 2021 season this past Saturday vs the Monroe Rams on a beautiful sunny spring day. The Huskies, behind strong pitching and hot bats, cruised past the Monroe Rams.

After the unfortunate cancellation of the 2020 season, life began to return back to normal as the Delta Girls took the field for their first games of the season. The first conference game of the season saw Junior Alyssa Hooton take the circle for the Huskies and show why she is one of the stronger pitchers in the state by striking out two of the first three batters she faced. The offense did the rest after four consecutive extra base hits by Emily Bevard, Lourdes Lester, Jocelyn Williams, and Alyssa Hooton.

The Huskies never looked back.

After the first inning the Huskies led 9-0. That lead would prove to be enough for the winning pitcher, Alyssa Hooton, after striking out all three batters the next inning.

The offense – again through a combination of disciplined at-bats, heads up base running, and timely hits from Mersades Owen, Emily Bevard, and Alyssa Hooton – help tack on eight more runs and the game was sealed.

Hooton went the distance for the Huskies allowing one hit and striking out eight batters. The final score was 17-2 to put the Huskies 1-0 in the Mid-Alaska Conference.

The conference is made up of four teams this year including the Monroe Rams, Hutchinson Hawks, North Pole Patriots, and Delta Huskies. Wins against these opponents determine selection to the state tournament in June. The season will feature nine conference games and three non-conference games against opponents in the Mid-Alaska Conference.

In the second game, which was a non-conference matchup, the Huskies again behind strong defense, big hits throughout the lineup, and strong pitching this time from Freshman Pitcher Zoe Moore beat Monroe 17-2.

The game took on a familiar tone as Zoe Moore confidently struck out two of the first three batters she faced. The offense did the rest as Lourdes Lester hit a shot to deep center field and took second on a ground rule double to start the game.

After consecutive walks loaded the bases, Brooklyn Hill cleared the bases with a double to left field.  After two more walks Senior Jocelyn Williams extended the Husky lead to 6-0 with a double. The scoring in the first inning continued as eighth grader Grace White hit a deep fly ball to left field that stretched the score to 10-0 after the first inning.

The second and third innings saw more offense as big hits from Neveah Glass, Emily Bevard, Jocelyn Williams, Ce Ce Folliard and Alyssa Hooton stretched the lead for good. Zoe Moore and catcher Jordyn Hill did the rest only allowing one run on one hit and striking out 8 batters.

This year’s Delta Huskies Softball team is coached by Richard Lester, Dave Williams, and Amanda Bunselmeir. The 2021 team, according to Coach Lester, has the talent to go far this year if they stay focused and continue to work hard. They have a nice blend of upperclassmen led by Seniors Emily Bevard, Jocelyn Williams, Mersades Owen, and Juniors Alyssa Hooton and Tessa White, along with a strong young nucleus which include Sophomores Neveah Glass and Jordyn Hill.

The majority of the team is made up of Freshman and, due to a new rule this year, even an eighth grader is allowed to play at the high school level. They include Zoe Moore, Lourdes Lester, Brooklyn Hill, Ce Ce Folliard, and eighth grader Grace White. The high number of lower classmen on this year’s team is the by-product of a strong youth league which has been growing in numbers every summer and is now starting to make its impact at the high school level.

Coach Lester said, “This is why it is important for parents to get their kids registered to play softball when they are young, it only strengthens our high school program, plus it’s the greatest sport in the world”.  Registration for the 2021 summer softball is currently underway for more information please visit the Delta Girls Softball Association Facebook page or register at https://www.playyon.com/dgsa.