Trailing by six runs in the fourth inning, Berkley High softball coach Megan Colligan witnessed her team find its stride.
The Bears battled back and left Bloomfield Hills Andover April 22 with a 19-11 victory after being down 11-5 in the fourth inning.
“I was really proud of them. It was really a team win because they all hit,” Colligan said. “I think they needed it to prove to themselves that they could come back because, last year, they saw a lot of those games go the other way. They proved to themselves that they had it in them.”
The Bears earned the doubleheader sweep of the Barons that day, putting them at 2-2 overall. They hadn’t played a game in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division at press time.
Losing two girls to graduation from the team that finished 6-24 last season, Colligan sees a vast improvement in the skill set of the rest of the roster.
“I think a lot of the girls worked hard in the summer on things they knew they had to work on,” she said. “We were young last year, so luckily this year we have a lot of experience. The girls are coming along nicely. So far, so good.”
In the circle, junior Jessica Steele and Abby Brandon are the No. 1 and 2, respectively.
“Jessica has really developed three pitches and is good at hitting her spots,” Colligan said. “Abby’s pitch has a natural movement. While a little bit slower, it’s harder to hit at times because it does drop.”
At the plate, the coach expects Steele and junior member Hannah Mulcahy to lead.
As a team, Colligan said the girls wrote down their individual and team goals before the season started. Many of them included division and district championships.
“I think a lot of the girls realize that we had more talent last year than what we let come through, and this year, they’re more focused,” she said.