WEST TERRE HAUTE —
As I’ve stated in this space before, I don’t like change.
Somehow I’ve learned to use the Internet, Facebook and a cell phone over the last 15 years, but most changes I try to avoid because I tend to think the old-school way of doing things is better.
OK, who stole my typewriter? I want it back now!
Seriously, we’re all forced to make adjustments when society and life situations evolve.
On that note, West Vigo High School senior Alicyn Woodward makes adjustments about as well as anybody I’ve met recently.
Two years ago, for example, Woodward batted right-handed for the Vikings’ softball team. But in the summer of 2009, she was convinced that she would hit more effectively as a lefty.
So she moved to the other side of the batter’s box and her 2011 offensive statistics indicate it was the correct decision.
“I was a power hitter right-handed,” Woodward explained. “But when I switched travel teams to the one I’m on now [in the summer], they told me that with my speed, I should be left-handed and I’d be quicker out of the box.”
Before West Vigo’s game at North Vermillion on Friday, Woodward owned a .554 batting average with 24 runs scored and 28 stolen bases this season.
Usually occupying the lead-off spot in the Vikings’ lineup, she posted at least three hits in five of their first 16 games, including a 3-for-3 performance in a loss to Terre Haute South last week.
“Before my junior year, I played around with [batting left-handed] but didn’t really think I’d ever switch,” Woodward recalled. “I like it now.”
“She’s fast,” West Vigo coach Cherish Easton said as she started to rattle off Woodward’s attributes on offense. “She can put the ball in play. She’s smart. She knows the game. She has experience with the game. She’d do anything to help the team. If I needed her at catcher, she’d get back there at catcher and she’d do a good job.”
Beating out bunts has become one of Woodward’s trademarks since she transformed into a lefty. That’s probably because she lays the ball down with pinpoint accuracy and — as Easton mentioned — she runs fast for a high school girl.
South coach Steve Woerner thinks she is one of the best high school bunters he’s seen in recent years.
“There are a couple good bunters who play for Ben Davis in the MIC [Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference],” he noted, “but Alicyn and Haley Chambers up there at Riverton Parke are the two best I’ve seen.”
Easton described Woodward as a triple-threat hitter.
“She can bunt, she can slap and she can hit,” Easton said. “A lot of teams aren’t quite sure where to play her [defensively] because if they move in one direction, she’s going to do something else and still get on base.”
Back to the subject of “change,” Woodward showed her commitment to the team by going from a full-time center fielder to serving as West Vigo’s No. 1 pitcher in 2011, even though she hadn’t pitched regularly since doing it for a 14-and-under summer team a few years ago.
“I’m definitely not the best pitcher,” she admitted with a chuckle. “I love pitching. It’s fun. I like to be in control of the game the whole game. I’m not the best, but I work at it.”
Woodward still excels as a center fielder when she’s not pitching. In fact, that’s what she’ll do when she goes to Olney Central College to play next season.
“I never have any doubts with Woody in the outfield,” Easton emphasized. “She’s quick. She’s not afraid to dive after the ball. She has a good arm. I love to see when runners want to test her and she gets them out.”
Woodward chose Olney Central for a variety of reasons.
“I like Nick Short as a coach and I like how he sets up everything,” she mentioned. “I liked the school when I went there [for a visit] and it’s not that far from home.”
“I definitely think she can be a significant college player,” Easton added. “She’s going to turn some heads. She’s going to be a key player for Olney.”
But for now, Woodward is focused on getting West Vigo turned around from a 6-10 start (1-2 in the Western Indiana Conference).
“It does get frustrating,” she said about losing so often. “It’s real frustrating when we have the game on the line and we know we can win or we’re ahead and we make silly, mental errors and physical errors. That puts us behind, then we lose all focus and we’re out of the game.”
Easton said Woodward has remained a positive influence on the team, despite her frustration with losing.
“Alicyn has a really good mental game,” the Vikings’ coach noted. “So she sets a good example for the other players.”
Asked about the team’s goals for the rest of the season, Woodward didn’t hesitate to answer.
“We hope to win conference and win as many games as we can from here on out,” she stressed.
For Woodward and the rest of the Vikings, that would be the most fun change of all.
David Hughes can be reached after 4 p.m. by phone at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at (812) 231-4224; by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.
WEST TERRE HAUTE —
As I’ve stated in this space before, I don’t like change.
- High School
Goatee, Bertoli ran away with Spring Athlete of the Year
When honoring athletes after a season of excellence, the phrase “what might have been” doesn’t usually come up.
But in the case of Terre Haute South’s Jackson Bertoli and Terre Haute North’s TaPring Goatee – the Tribune-Star’s Athletes of the Year for spring sports – there’s an air of unfinished business despite obvious recent successes.
Post 346 opens tournament with two victories
Preston Tofaute got on base enough to score three runs, Cody Thornton smashed a two-run triple in the first inning and pitcher Pete Lannoo scattered four hits over a seven-inning complete game.
All of that helped Wayne Newton Post 346 down Lafayette Post 11 by a 7-2 score in the opener of the Terre Haute Inviatational tournament for American Legion baseball Thursday afternoon at Terre Haute North High School.
North boys move up to 13th in golf state finals
Early Wednesday morning, Terre Haute North senior Ryan Baker and coach Abe Nasser headed out to the Legends of Indiana Golf Course for a range session.
Baker wasn’t happy with the 85 he shot in Tuesday’s first round of the IHSAA boys golf state finals.
“He was frustrated,” Nasser said.
Problem solved. Baker bounced back with a 2-over 74 Wednesday, helping the Patriots improve their team score by seven strokes.
The Patriots shot 304 as a team Wednesday, giving them a two-day score of 615, good for 13th place in the 15-team field.
Big hill to climb for North golf
Terre Haute North boys golf is 21 strokes behind leaders at IHSAA boys golf tourney.
Top of her game
There are a lot of surprising facts about blossoming volleyball prodigy Caitlyn Newton, including that shape-shifting thing she can apparently do, but maybe one of them stands out the most. She may only be scratching the surface.
Camp, Howe win, then lose in state tennis tourney
Miranda Camp and Nicole Howe of Terre Haute South won their first match of high school tennis Friday at the state individual doubles finals, then won the first set against a powerful Park Tudor team before falling in three sets.
Terre Haute North heading back to state finals in boys golf
Terre Haute North is going back to the state finals in boys high school golf for the first time in more than 10 years. The Patriots qualified for a trip to The Legends Course next week by tying for third in the Washington Regional at Country Oaks Golf Club and advancing with the better fifth score.
North, South, Sullivan to compete at golf regional
Boys high school golf teams from the Wabash Valley will compete in the Washington Regional on Thursday, seeking a spot in the state finals to be played next week.
Terre Haute North falls 6-1 to Brownsburg in opening game of Class 4A Regional
Terre Haute North coach Shawn Turner told the Patriots to raise their heads. He wanted to see their eyes at the close of their 24-7 high school baseball season.
Terre Haute North girls shine on dreary day at track state finals
Led by a record setting 3,200-meter relay team and Keirra Porter’s long jump, Terre Haute North turned in its best finish ever in the 40th annual IHSAA Girls Track & Field Championships on Saturday at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Valley teams will have to wait until Monday for baseball regionals
Rain and the threat of more rain caused postponements of high school baseball regionals involving Terre Haute North, West Vigo and Shakamak on Saturday.
Rockville's season ends at Lafayette Central Catholic
Lafayette Central Catholic ended Rockville’s tourney run in high school baseball Saturday, defeating the Rox 8-0 in the first game of the LCC Class A Regional.
IHSAA boys state track finals: Standing alone
It hadn’t been a particularly good day for Wabash Valley track and field Friday, and it wasn’t looking like a good one for Jackson Bertoli either.
Terre Haute North, West Vigo return to baseball regionals
Terre Haute North’s baseball team hasn’t participated in an IHSAA regional since 2006. West Vigo’s wait hasn’t been as long, but it was 2010 when the Vikings last advanced from a sectional.
Patriots girls take aim at state track title
Terre Haute North’s girls have several potential state champions today at Indiana University.
South, North track athletes looking for big performances at state finals
Terre Haute South’s distance trio of Jackson Bertoli, Logan Hambrock and Riley Stohler appear to be the favorites to crack all-state status among Wabash Valley competitors today in the IHSAA boys track and field state finals at Indiana University.
- Internet site keeps area prep teams on airwaves
- PREP ROUNDUP: Locals to take part in Hoosiers All-Star Game
South Vermillion softball can't overcome errors, Tri-West
Uncharacteristic errors led to eight unearned runs and hard-luck hitting made that impossible to overcome for South Vermillion, which fell 8-0 to Tri-West in Class 3A regional play.
Clay City softball comes up short against Lutheran
Clay City closed its high school softball season Tuesday night with the best record ever for the program at 21-9.
The Eels wanted to add another win, the school’s first regional title, but they came up short.
PREP ROUNDUP: Rockville wins baseball sectional
Rockville won its own Class A sectional in high school baseball Tuesday, defeating Covington 10-4 in the rain-delayed championship game.
Class 4A Terre Haute South Sectional:The wait is over
Three minutes into an interview with various media members, Terre Haute North baseball coach Shawn Turner couldn’t react fast enough to avoid a bucket of ice water being dumped over his head from behind by his giddy players. The soaking-wet Turner could shake it off with a smile, however, because his Patriots had just won the IHSAA Class 4A Terre Haute South Sectional championship with a 13-3 six-inning triumph over Plainfield on Monday evening.
Class 4A Terre Haute South Sectional: TH North, Plainfield win squeakers
The high school baseball teams of Terre Haute North and Plainfield proved Monday that what a batter does early in the game is not necessarily indicative of what he will do in the late innings.
Class 2A Linton Sectional: Eastern rains on Sullivan parade
Mother Nature put Sullivan’s quest for a high school baseball sectional championship on hold Monday night at Linton-Stockton High School. Sullivan (14-15) and Eastern Greene (16-7) will resume play in the Class 2A Sectional 47 championship game at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Linton’s Roy Herndon Field.
Opening Day: Terre Haute Rex host Quincy
In his first season at the helm, first-year Terre Haute Rex manager Ronnie Prettyman is going to be surrounded by men he knows and trusts.
Class A Shakamak Sectional: Stout pitching leads Union, Shakamak to final
Trey Bedwell and Patrick Green made sure their respective high school baseball teams would meet for the championship of the Class A Shakamak Sectional by pitching shutouts in semifinal contests Monday afternoon.
Class A Rockville Sectional: Covington, Rockville title game postponed
Rockville and Covington won semifinal high school baseball games Monday to advance to the championship game of the Rockville Class A Sectional. Due to rain, the championship game was postponed. A decision was expected this morning whether the game will be played today or Wednesday.
South Vermillion, Linton, Clay City look to stay alive in softball
There might have been as many reasons to think they wouldn’t be winning sectionals this spring as evidence to show they would, but high school softball teams from South Vermillion, Linton and Clay City will be playing one-game regionals Tuesday with the chance to keep defying the odds.
West Vigo back on top of Class 3A baseball sectional
West Vigo won its sectional with a 6-4 victory over South Vermillion on a rainy night at Dick Ballinger Field.
South runs into ‘buzzsaw’ at girls tennis semistate
Postmatch interviews don’t often begin with a coach and a reporter ready to blurt out the same word, but that was the case for Bill Blankenbaker and his interviewer Saturday morning after the Center Grove Semistate for girls high school tennis.
Unfortunately for Blankenbaker’s Terre Haute South team, that word was “buzzsaw.”
Greenwood’s Kawamoto twins made quick work of the top of the Braves’ singles lineup, so despite stellar efforts by both South doubles teams the Woodmen’s 3-2 victory didn’t seem all that close.
Greenwood moves on to Fishers, where it plays Floyd Central or Jasper on Friday in the state quarterfinals.
Also playing Friday, but at Park Tudor, will be South’s Miranda Camp and Nicole Howe, who reached the individual doubles finals for the second straight season by virtue of their 6-4, 6-2 win over the Greenwood team of Taylor Hudnall and Brittany Toney.
“It’s really exciting,” said Howe of the prospect of a second straight finals trip, “but I wish our team could’ve gone with us.”
- More High School Headlines
- Goatee, Bertoli ran away with Spring Athlete of the Year