Butler gets off to fast start
Reddick helps Golden Tornado to pluck Plum





BUTLER TWP Angie Reddick squeezed the softball in her glove, wound up her powerful right arm and lunged forward with a grunt.
Only the pitch came out as if in suspended animation.
It had
Plum hitter Athena Kaufman confounded. She swung her bat well before the pitch reached the mitt of Butler catcher Erica Thrower.
Strike three. End of ballgame.
Reddick leaped into the air and was mobbed by teammates as the Golden Tornado won their opener at home over
Plum, 7-5, Friday afternoon.
It was just one win, but it was an important one for
Butler and first-year coach Lori Kline.
"She's really confident in all of her pitches," Kline said of Reddick. "We worked a great deal on that in the offseason. She threw two days a week for an hour at a clip, throwing all her pitches."
One of those was a changeup that baffled
Plum at times last year. The changeup is even tougher for hitters to adjust to this season because Reddick's fastball has picked up some velocity.
"She can leave a lot of hitters hanging in there," Kline said. "She struck out 10 batters in our first scrimmage."
Reddick struck out seven against
Plum, walked one and hit a batter.
The walk and hit-by-pitch came in the top of the first inning with two outs, leading to two runs.
But Butler responded with four in the bottom of the first inning, keyed by a two-run double by Sadie Marak.
Reddick got into another jam in the top of the second inning, but escaped with a strikeout to end the inning.
Plum scored two runs in the frame, only one was earned.
After that, Reddick was nearly flawless. She got stronger as the game progressed.
The Butler offense was strong throughout.
Senior Jenna Geibel had two doubles and a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning that gave the Tornado the lead for good.
Butler banged out 12 hits in the game.
"We have some power and we've been trying some new things with bunting and slapping," Kline said. "It's working for us so far."
Leadoff hitter Nikki Hladik had two bunt singles batting from the left side for the first time in her career.
"We just moved her to the left side a couple of weeks ago," Kline said. "She's really picked it up fast."
Plum coach Jim McGrath was impressed with Butler.
"Every game you learn something new," McGrath said. "There's always a couple of things you pick up. Today it was pitching. When you get an 0-2 count on a batter, you can't throw strikes. They have a good team. They can hit."
Kline is hoping the combination of Reddick's pitching and a solid lineup will lead Butler to a place it hasn't gone this decade: the playoffs.
Friday was the first step.
"This will be a momentum setter for the girls," Kline said.

Plum 220 001 05 9 0
Butler 402 010 x7 12 2

WP:
Angie Reddick (7 IP) 7 strikeouts, 1 walk. LP: Athena Kaufman (6 IP) 9 strikeouts, 1 walk
Plum (0-1): Courtney Keene 2B; Nina Donatucci 2-1B; Kaufman 2B, 1B, 2-RBI; Megan Mariani 2-1B; Sami Crankshaw 2-1B
Butler (1-0): Nikki Hladik 2-1B; Jenna Geibel 2-2B, HR, 3-RBI; Sadie Marak 3B, 1B, 2-RBI; Jocelyn Bachman 1B, 2-RBI