Bellevue West approached a 12-0 win over Omaha North with a “good mindset” on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
“We’ve been talking a lot about having a good mindset and a plan walking up to the plate,” Thunderbirds head coach Bre Salgado said. “We’ve been harping on that a lot, even in warmups, even practices. I believe they were able to go in with a good mindset.”
In the first inning, starting pitcher Aubrey White opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly after getting through a jam with runners on second and third in the top of the inning.
“I’m super proud of her,” Salgado said. “I can’t really say anything more than that. She’s been a great asset for the team. She’s been a great ace pitcher for us. Offensively, everybody goes through their ups and downs, but as long as we’re able to make stuff happen on the field for us and get baserunners and get those runs scored, then she’s doing the job.”
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The Thunderbirds also capitalized in the first, scoring on a wild pitch and an RBI single by Daytona Hall.
The scoring continued with a 4-run second inning, as Mady Croteau hit an RBI double, and Madi Hays followed with a two-run double. Hays scored on a wild pitch to give the Thunderbirds a 7-0 lead after two.
In the third, Bellevue West scored five, and the game ended early for run-rule on an RBI double by White.
As the Thunderbirds improve to 12-13, Salgado has had a “ton of takeaways” and learning experiences in her first season in charge. Above all else, the Thunderbirds have talked about and worked on their characteristics as humans off the field.
“Being a high school coach, you only get them for so long,” she said. “So only having that short timespan with them, it’s hard to really correct the skills, so we just get to work on what we have, make little adjustments her and there and work a lot on the mental stuff.”
Going into the future, both this season and later seasons at Bellevue West, Salgado hopes to continue to work on mentality, get the Thunderbirds confident and “just overall being good human beings.”
On the field, the Thunderbirds are “super pumped” as they head into the final three games of the regular season: at Lincoln Northwest on Monday, Sept. 26, home for senior night against Burke on Tuesday, and at Buena Vista next Thursday.
“We’ve had a lot of time to work on what we need to really understand what our jobs are as hitters, as baserunners, as defense and even in the dugout,” Salgado said. “We’ve talked a lot about everybody’s role on the team, and that everyone has one.”
Salgado said whether that role is as a starter, or as a relief pitcher or pinch runner, they’re all “super excited” and still have high hopes and high goals to make the state tournament.
“We’re just ready to go out and get some wins,” Salgado said.