In six games this season, Kodiak coach Sam Catt has penciled in three different batters at the top of his order — Tasha Pedersen, Manya Wandersee and Richanna Mahle.
Over the past weekend, Mahle has emerged as the frontrunner for the leadoff spot, for the time being.
In three games against Soldotna and Skyview, Mahle tallied four hits and scored four runs.
“She is an excellent contact hitter,” Catt said.
Mahle began the season as Kodiak’s No. 3 hitter and spent a lot of time in that spot last season when she led the team in RBIs and hits.
Catt hopes putting Mahle at the top of the order will lead to the team being more aggressive at the plate.
“We have to have a lot more aggressive hitting and we don’t have it yet … We are watching a lot of strikes go through,” Catt said. “That is why I need somebody who is aggressive and can recognize bad pitches. Most of the time that first pitch is a strike and you have to jump on it and we are not doing that right now. We hit zero first pitches in both Soldotna games and we have to change that.”
Kodiak (3-3) lost a pair of Northern Lights Conference games to Soldotna by a combined score of 21-3 and only achieved four hits in both contests.
The Bears travel to the Sitka Tournament, with pool play games Thursday and Friday and the tournament on Saturday.
Kodiak opens with games against Thunder Mountain and Ketchikan on Thursday at 11 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. The Bears play Homer and Sitka on Friday at 12:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
“What I would like to see is the team play the way they played against Dimond,” Catt said. “I would be extremely happy if they came out and played like that.”
Ketchikan, Homer and Sitka all played in the small-school state tournament last season. Sitka defeated Ketchikan in the championship game.
“We are looking forward to going down there and working on all those things that we have to improve on,” Catt said.
Mirror writer Derek Clarkston can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.