Royal Oak Shrine softball is young, talented

By: Christian Davis | Royal Oak Review | Published May 18, 2011

 Royal Oak Shrine’s Lexie Cavanaugh stretches for the throw at first base in a game earlier this season. Coach Rick Steinmetz said the infield has the potential to be the best he’s ever coached.

Royal Oak Shrine’s Lexie Cavanaugh stretches for the throw at first base in a game earlier this season. Coach Rick Steinmetz said the infield has the potential to be the best he’s ever coached.

Photo by Donna Agusti

Advertisement
Advertisement

ROYAL OAK — With no seniors and only two juniors on the roster that features mostly sophomores, the Royal Oak Shrine varsity softball squad could technically pass as a JV team.

But that fact hasn’t changed the goals of the players or the coach.

“It’s been better than my expectations,” coach Rick Steinmetz said. “I like the team a lot. At best, we were hoping for (.500) in the league, and we’re going to be better than that. So it’s been a good year.”

At press time, the Knights were 13-9 overall and 13-7 in the Catholic High School League Intersectional.

“I’m very impressed with what we did this season,” junior Kelly Cobbledick said. “Coming into it, I’ll admit, I was a little nervous. But we’ve done a great job, and I’m proud of the team.”

Much of the success is because of the Knights’ balanced attack. As a team, it’s hitting .337 — led by junior Devin Kinney’s .409 mark and Cobbledick’s .375 average.

On defense, Steinmetz said his infield has the potential to be the best he’s coached in his 19 years on the bench.

The biggest problem Shrine has faced is its propensity to give up the big inning.

Against Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, which is 20-2 and atop of the division, the Knights lost the first game of a doubleheader 8-3, and all eight runs came on six straight errors in the third inning.

“In the second game, they played like they can, and they lost 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh,” Steinmetz said.

Against Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard, Shrine lost the first game 8-6, and then turned it around to win 4-0 in the second.

“I think we usually come together as a team and figure out what we need to do to win,” Kinney said.

“It seems like between games we start to get that focus, and with focus we do great things,” Cobbledick added.

Though Steinmetz would rather have a mistake free game every time, he does believe there is something to be said for the way the Knights bounce back.

“It just amazes me every game with them because you have innings like that, and a lot of the teams I’ve had in the past would just collapse and turn that eight-run inning into two or three innings like that,” he said.

“This group, you can go out and say, ‘OK, you have to get it back in your head that you need to play ball.’ They let it go and play.”

 

Advertisement
Advertisement