Back in a big way

Published 9:34 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Lady Knights seemed to be making up for lost time on Friday.

The Suffolk Christian Academy softball team did not exist last year, but it is back this season, and it opened its schedule with a 23-3 blowout of host Alliance Christian Academy.

“As a team, we had 20 hits and only three strikeouts, so that’s something we focused on in practice getting ready for the season is making contact and making the other team play,” Lady Knights coach Robert Lester said.

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Suffolk Christian opened up a 4-1 lead in the first inning against the Lady Falcons, made it 6-1 after the second inning and then exploded offensively in the third inning, outscoring Alliance Christian 13-0.

The Lady Knights added four more runs in the fourth to take a 23-1 lead before what ended up being the fifth and final inning.

SCA senior team captain Brianna Farrenkopf pitched all five innings and threw 10 strikeouts, giving up only three hits.

“I was very pleased,” Lester said. “She doesn’t play travel ball or anything like that. For her to have the arm to finish a game at this point, it was very impressive.”

Farrenkopf also went 2-for-5 at the plate, with two singles.

Lester said his team has a few things to work on, “but overall, up and down the lineup, hitting was great.”

Freshman Regan Lynn was 4-for-4, with two doubles, two triples and three runs scored.

“It was pretty much expected,” Lester said of Lynn’s remarkable performance. “I have a couple girls that are top-tier players.”

Freshman Penelope Franklin was 3-for-4, with two doubles, a walk and four runs scored, and eighth-grader Heather Pearson was 3-for-4, with a double and three runs scored.

Eleven girls make up the Suffolk Christian softball team this season, including two seniors, two juniors, two sophomores, three freshmen, an eighth-grader and a seventh-grader.

“Last year, some of the girls decided to try other sports, so we didn’t have enough to participate,” Lester said. “But with what we have now, a lot of the younger girls have played rec softball and some played travel softball more, so what we’re hoping is, this will be a start of a program that we can develop.”

The coach noted that starting off, the 2016 Lady Knights are, from top to bottom, a more talented team than their counterparts from 2014.

“We lost some good players, but some of the players that stepped in are great athletes, and we’ve only had two weeks to practice, and they’re catching on really quick to the different skills and all that we’ve been working on,” Lester said. “So, (I’m) very optimistic that they’ll be successful.”

SCA is navigating a 15-game season, and Lester said, “I feel that we can win at least 10 of those games.”

Pearson, who is a first baseman, infielder and utility player, has played travel ball in the past, giving her valuable experience on the field.

Lynn and Franklin are still travel ball players, and both of them can pitch.

“When Brianna’s pitching, Penelope is playing short and Regan is playing third,” Lester said, adding that when Farrenkopf is not in the circle, she slides into the infield position of whomever in the trio is pitching.

“I feel good about our pitchers and how we can change pitchers without changing the dynamics of the defense,” Lester said.

The Lady Knights (1-0) return to the field on Thursday at Norfolk Christian School.