|Falcons' Kertes back in form (04-12-13)|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Friday, 12 April 2013 09:26|
The Bowling Green sophomore right-hander has pitched well the last three weeks, posting a 1.01 earned-run average in her last 13 games.
She's allowed just seven runs (six earned) on 39 hits over 412‚Ñ3 innings in that span, striking out 34 and walking just eight.
"I'm starting to put it all together. I'm pitching with confidence," said Kertes, who didn't pitch during fall practice because of a spine injury.
She still pitches in pain, but she's tweaked her mechanics to lessen the stress on her back.
Kertes is building on last season when she was the Mid-American Conference freshman of the year and a first-team All-MAC selection. She was 17-13 overall with a 2.20 ERA last season, striking out 146 and walking 19 in 1902‚Ñ3 innings.
This season, Kertes is 7-7 overall with four saves and a 2.56 ERA.
"My pitches have a lot more movement, and I'm a lot more focused," she said. "I'm more focused on attacking the batters and throwing strikes."
SECURITY BLANKET: Kertes' return to form has coincided with the return of senior catcher Adrienne Dick from a knee injury. Dick, who missed BG's first 18 games, catches when Kertes pitches.
"We have great chemistry," Kertes said.
"It's just a feeling we have," Dick said. "I know what she's thinking and how to handle her, kind of like a sister thing."
One of Kertes' best pitches is a dropball that Dick is able to squat low to the ground to catch for strikes.
"She can catch that dropball just right, so she can get the ultimate amount of strikes," Salsburg said.
ARMS: Kertes and classmate Paris Imholz have the Falcons second in the MAC with a 2.32 ERA.
Imholz leads the MAC with a 1.81 ERA. She's 13-4 with two saves.
NEXT: BG faces a big series against Kent, but it has to beat Buffalo to make those games meaningful.
Kent and Miami share the lead East lead at 6-2, followed by BG and Ohio at 4-4, and Buffalo and and Akron at 3-5.
PEAKING: The Falcons finished last season on a roll and they're attempting to do the same this season.
BG has won eight of its last nine games after going 17-8 in its final 25 games last season.
"Just being able to get outside makes a difference, and that's true for a lot of northern teams," Salsburg said. "It's hard to be indoors all of the time. You have to get outside and play games."
In addition to Kertes and Dick, BG has had to overcome a third major injury - second baseman Andrea Arney (knee) is out for the season.
DEFENSE: BG has played well defensively as it leads the MAC with a .969 fielding. It has committed only 30 errors in 32 games.
The Falcons returned seven starters from last season.
Sophomore Emily McClelland has played well in place of Arney, and freshmen Lexie Valone and Marissa Shook have provided BG with excellent play in the outfield.
HITTING: Although BG is is hitting just .231, its bats are starting to get hot with at least six hits in six of its last eight games.
Eight BG players had a hit in Tuesday's sweep of Valparaiso.
"We've really focused on hitting with runners in scoring position, and our numbers have increased there," Salsburg said. "We're also getting more production from the bottom of our lineup and that's helped, too. It doesn't have to be a lot to take a lot of the pressure off the top, but it has to be something."
ROAD TRIP: After hosting Buffalo and Kent, BG plays eight of its final 10 MAC games on the road.
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