Building blocks put in place last three years coming to fruition for Ravens

By: Mike Moore | Royal Oak Review | Published May 26, 2011

 Senior pitcher Taylor Fresch has been a key ingredient to Royal Oak’s success in 2011. After a few seasons near the .500 mark, the Ravens were 14-7 at press time.

Senior pitcher Taylor Fresch has been a key ingredient to Royal Oak’s success in 2011. After a few seasons near the .500 mark, the Ravens were 14-7 at press time.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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ROYAL OAK — You’ll often hear coaches and players forecast brighter days in the future based on the promise of potential of the present.

Young players will mature.

Inexperienced players will learn and grow.

For the past few seasons, Terry Powers was one of those coaches.

The Royal Oak High softball head man kept his program’s head above water while turning freshmen to sophomores, sophomores to juniors, and so on.

He spoke of the future with confidence, fully expecting the work put in then to translate into wins on another day.

Those days have arrived.

“This is one of the best years we’ve had in a while,” the skipper said May 17 before a home game with Detroit Renaissance. “We’ve got good senior leadership. We’ve got solid experienced girls back in the mix, and they are putting it all together.”

Powers said each of the past three seasons have ended with roughly .500 records.

The 2011 squad, featuring a number of varsity veterans, was 14-7 at press time.

“When you’ve got the maturity we do and some girls who have been on varsity three or four years, they understand what’s expected. They understand how to deal with the competition and the pressure,” Powers said.

Asked if he was surprised at all with the record, he said bluntly, “no.”

“This is what I expected when the year started.”

“We’ve clicked since day one,” senior pitcher Taylor Fresch said. “We’ve all been through this a few times now, so we know what to expect. We realize this is a team game and there’s nothing we can do as individuals. That mindset has really helped us.”

As has Fresch’s pitching.

The right-hander, teaming up with fellow senior Alex Tekip, have essentially split the 14 wins so far and kept opposing hitters struggling.

The Ravens’ bats haven’t been too shabby either, hitting .320 as a team.

It is a number Powers and his players once again credited to the team’s experience.

“When you have to make that transition from (junior varsity) to varsity pitching, it’s usually a big step up,” senior third baseman Alex Bleaker said. “For us, having been on this team for a few years, we never had to go through that transition.”

When asked about the rest of the season and the quickly approaching playoff tournament, set to begin May 31, neither Powers nor any of his girls wanted to comment or look too far down the line.

“We’ll do whatever we’re capable of,” Fresch said. “We’re a confident team, and wherever that leads us, it does.”

Powers said he was more focused on what this team had already done, and what he hopes is a new standard within the Royal Oak program.

“I’d like to think this is what we’re capable of every year,” he added. “This type of success should be the standard around here.”


 

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