NEW BETHLEHEM — The Redbank Valley Lady Bulldogs actually played a game this year.
It was a scrimmage at DuBois back on March 13 when everyone knew school was going to be suspended the following Monday.
Obviously, that was it as the season was officially canceled last week and the returning Class 2A runners-up won’t get to take another crack at a D9 title.
“It seemed like a year ago now and seems like it never happened,” said Sayers of the scrimmage. “The funny thing is that the week before we talked to the kids about the window of opportunity and you hear about the pros talk about that a lot. We drew a window on the blackboard on how far the window was closing for our freshmen, sophomore, juniors and seniors.
“When we got to Becca’s we said if we’re real lucky, we may have 21, 22 games left this year, not realizing that now, the window is closed.”
Catcher Becca Kunselman was the team’s lone senior and one of six regulars back from an 11-6 season that saw the Lady Bulldogs lose to Cranberry in the D9 championship game.
Kunselman hit .380 and would’ve been a middle-of-the-order hitter for Sayers.
Junior Brooke Holben took over the No. 1 pitching spot after Montana Hetrick didn’t go out for the team. Holben threw 16 innings over four appearances, playing mostly at second base and hitting .385. Freshman Caylen Rearick would’ve been the other pitcher.
“Brooke always had a great work ethic and busted her butt getting prepared for the season,” Sayers said.
Juniors Brynn Rearick and Teja Hageter are returning all-KSAC players. Rearick hit .464 while anchoring the infield at shortstop while Hageter returns to right field where she batted .447. Also back were juniors with first baseman Elaina Miller (.279) and centerfielder Gabby Dinger (.400), who was in left field last year.
From there, Sayers was looking at the freshman Caylen Rearick, junior Brooke Smith or sophomore Samantha Evans at second base. Junior Savanna Boyer was starting at third base while junior Trista Bowser was in left field. Juniors Kia Sage and Trinity Weckerly were backup outfielders.
Freshman Payton Polka was the likely backup catcher behind Kunselman.
Sayers, assisted once again by Lee Miller, Mike Rearick, Rob Hageter and Morgan Toth, knows his team lost a chance at contending for a title.
“We thought we would compete, like we pretty much do every year try, for the league and had a legitimate shot of getting back to a defeat nine title game and winning,” Sayers said. “But I coach softball and I live softball and all of that. But you stop and think about what’s going on with people losing their lives and stuff and it really puts it into how unimportant It is. It puts everything into perspective.
Senior: Becca Kunselman.
Juniors: Kia Sage, Savanna Boyer, Brynn Rearick, Teja Hageter, Brooke Smith, Brooke Holben, Trista Bowser, Gabby Dinger, Elaina Miller, Trinity Weckerly.
Sophomores: Samantha Evans, Carlie Rupp, Leigh Ann Hetrick.
Freshmen: Payton Polka, Caylen Rearick, Josie Neiswonger.