Youth catches up to Northside Christian

By Chris Girandola, Times correspondent
Published April 28, 2007

ST. PETERSBURG - Sixth-grade starting pitcher Jess Anderson admitted after Northside Christian's 6-1 loss to Mount Dora Bible that she had never faced a team like the Bulldogs.

Not that she hasn't seen quality talent before, considering the young phenom travels around the country with an elite club team when she isn't pitching for Northside Christian.

But the team from Orlando demonstrated how being loud and brash from the dugout can sometimes rattle a pitcher, even one as talented as Anderson.

"I've never pitched against a team like that, " said Anderson, who has been playing softball since she was 4. "They definitely got to me and it's something I'll have to learn from."

After both teams posted a run in the first inning, Anderson matched wits with senior starter Sky Mathieson for two innings. But the Bulldogs (23-6) capitalized on Anderson's youth, scoring two runs in the fourth and two in the fifth to put the game away.

The Mustangs (16-6) battled back from a 1-0 deficit in the first inning with consecutive doubles by Stephanie Bonatewicz and Courtney Kuntz.

Chris Girandola, Times correspondent