Bodnar, Gators ‘cross bridge’

Ali Bodnar and confidence haven’t exactly gone hand in hand for much of this softball season.

Until Monday, the two had been more like distant acquaintances.

But that all seemed to change with one mighty swing in the first inning.

The Green Valley senior ripped an 0-1 pitch over the fence in left-center for a two-run homer, sending the Gators on their way to a key 5-2 Southeast League win at Foothill.

Green Valley (18-6, 6-2) moved into a tie for first place with the Falcons (20-9, 6-2) and Silverado, which beat Basic on Monday.

“I just got an inside pitch, and it was surprising because I haven’t been hitting inside pitches,” Bodnar said.

Bodnar, who had a torrid spring break as a junior when she hit .517 with five homers, two triples and two doubles in that stretch, has had trouble finding her stride since.

“It was just lack of confidence in the batter’s box,” Bodnar said. “I think I’m starting to play more as a teammate now and not just for myself. That’s really helping.”

She hit her first home run of the season last Tuesday.

Her second was a monster shot that gave the Gators the lead for good against Foothill.

“She hit a little bit of a bridge, but hopefully she crossed it today,” said Green Valley coach Lauren Taylor. “When we score right off the bat, these kids are up.”

Taylor, who said she shook up her lineup before Saturday’s 10-0 win at Rancho, had Bodnar hitting third, just ahead of cleanup hitter Alicia Firelein, who added a solo home run in the sixth inning.

Annamarie Smith added a two-run single with two outs in the fifth for.

Contact reporter Bartt Davis at bdavis@ or 702-387-5230.

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