Sophie Bjerk and Natalie Joyner’s bats came alive to help the Puyallup High softball team complete a three-game sweep over the weekend.
Coming into the weekend, Berk, Vikings’ No. 3 hitter, had been pressing at the plate, leading to some early struggles for the sophomore slugger.
But after going 3-for-4 with a home run and two doubles and three runs in Puyallup’s 11-1 win over Prairie on Satuday, there’s hope the Bjerk is starting to break out.
I’ve been struggling lately, so I’ve been trying to get back at it by focusing on the team and not myself.
“I’ve been struggling lately, so I’ve been trying to get back at it by focusing on the team and not myself,” Bjerk said.
After the power surge, Puyallup coach Tony Batinovich believes his No. 3 hitter has figured things out, and will continue her hot streak going forward.
If we can get her bat going, smoking in that third hole, it’s going to make us good.
Puyallup coach Tony Batinovich
“She’s been kind of struggling a little bit — she’s been just barely off, and sometimes that’s the difference,” Batinovich said. “Today she was on it, and I think that’s going to get her confidence going. If we can get her bat going, smoking in that third hole, it’s going to make us good.”
Bjerk wasn’t the only bat that sizzled, as Joyner finished perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with three doubles and three runs scored in the win over Prairie.
With Puyallup (7-0, 1-0) looking to extend its hold on the 4A South Puget Sound League South Division, it will be the offense that will drive this team to a third consecutive league title.
“If our bats are swinging — we have some quality bats in our lineup — our team is solid and can compete with just about anybody,” Batinovich said.
Starting pitcher Abigail Cotchaleovitch earned Saturday afternoon’s win over Prairie as the junior’s drop-ball forced the Falcons to be off-balance from the start.
“That was definitely working for me, as they were often under the ball and popped it up or swung over it,” Cotchaleovitch said.
But it was the offensive outpouring that allowed the junior lefty to be aggressive against Prairie.
“The way our team can score definitely allows me to go right at them,” she added.
Puyallup will travel to Rogers (6-1, 2-0) on Tuesday (March 29) as the South favorites will duke it out in an early-season meeting between two of 4A’s top programs.