Lady Bruins fall to Chinle <br>
Fielding errors hurt Bruin Boys
POLACCA — Chinle beat Hopi, 10-0, in the softball season opener March 1 in Chinle.
The Lady Bruins walked too many batters and managed just one hit. Rachelle Jim had the lone hit, a single in the fourth inning.
Hopi’s Jaylena Dewakuku had a rough first inning as she walked quite a few as Chinle erupted for six runs. She settled down after that to go the distance and strike out three.
Hopi High Coach Dirk Wirth said the Lady Bruins fielding wasn’t bad considering they’ve only had three practices due to bad weather.
Coach Wirth also had the job of rotating players as 44 girls are out for the team including 25 returners and nine seniors.
Despite the rough start, Coach Wirth hopes that the Lady Bruins can finish in the upper half of conference.
“If we throw strikes and hit the ball we’ll be okay,” he said. “So far, defense is our strength.”
Coach Wirth said the girls are having fun and they will have the opportunity to get better.
Here is the way the Hopi High defense is shaping up: First base will be shared by Rachelle Jim and Ivy Taylor. Savanna Anderson, Lenora Abeita and Quintina Quintero will battle for time at second base. Kristy Pavatea and Terra Morgan will share time at shortstop. Jackie Tsosie and Pavatea will take turns at third base.
Marleita Burbank and Loren Lomatska will be in leftfield. Chelsea Nevayaktewa and Morgan will roam centerfield. Annalese Nasafotie and Nevayaktewa will take turns in rightfield.
Hollie Laban and Ronisha Lopez will share the catching duties.
Jaylena Dewakuku, Rachelle Jim and Holly Jim-LaRance will be the pitchers.
Hopi boys vs. Chinle
The Hopi High boys had the opposite problem as their pitching was solid, but their fielding needed work. Chinle beat Hopi 8-2 in boys baseball in their season opener March 1 in Chinle.
In the baseball game, Hopi jumped out to a 2-0 edge as Jaynas Saufkie led off with a single, Lindsey Wise walked, Stet Lomayestewa hit into a fielder’s choice and Edgar Tootsie singled to load the bases before Matt Kelley drove home two runs with a single.
The Bruins held the 2-0 edge until there were two outs in the bottom of the third. An error allowed two runs to score before the inning was done.
Hopi had its chance to bring home more runs. In the fourth and fifth innings, the Bruins loaded the bases with nobody out only to watch their next three batters strike out in both innings.
Five of the eight Chinle runs were unearned as Hopi had trouble with its fielding.
Hopi High Coach Mark Hall said the Bruins inexperience showed. He said several of his players had never played baseball previously.
“There were some things that we’ve done right in practice, but not in the game. There were no major errors, just a lot of small things that added up,” he said.
Saufkie, the starting pitcher for Hopi, struck out three and only walked one batter in four innings. Lomayestewa, who pitched the last two innings struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.
“Our pitchers were fine, but they didn’t get much support,” he said in reference to the fielding.
(Stan Bindell, former Observer editor, is journalism and radio teacher at Hopi High School.)