Robert C. Byrd’s Fran Alvaro hits her stride in postseason play

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – As high school softball gets deeper into postseason play, Robert C. Byrd’s Fran Alvaro is hitting her stride in the circle.

Alvaro helped her team pick up a big win on Wednesday after defeating Lincoln 4-1 in sectional play and ending the Cougars lengthy win streak.

That game was extra meaningful for Alvaro who has suffered the loss twice against Lincoln this season before that win.

“As a pitcher, it’s huge to pitch with a win and especially for my defense, it’s huge to play with a win like that. It takes  a lot of the pressure off and it lets you play and have fun because that’s the biggest thing in playing, just to relax and have fun because when that gets taken away, it’s almost so tense and you can’t relax or anything so that was huge for us,” Alvaro said.

Alvaro and the Cougars star pitcher Delaney Haller have battled it out in each game they’ve faced each other. And Alvaro said she likes facing strong competition.

“She hits her spots very well. She controls the game extremely, but it’s always exciting playing games like that, the ones that are neck and neck. Those are the ones that are worth playing   and it was exciting, I like playing against her she’s a very good pitcher,” Alvaro said.

The Flying Eagles success comes from breaking down the game in order to keep their mindset refreshed.

“Our coach, Mary, always tells us that you can’t look at the game as a whole.  It’s one pitch at a time, one batter at a time, one inning at a time. Every time we come in from playing defense, she always tells us the score is zero to zero, we have to win that inning, and that’s really what we tried to do yesterday  and it worked out for us,” Alvaro said.

But of course, every time Alvaro is in the circle, she brings her confidence and her “sassy walk.” Alvaro said this helps her relax and play her game.

“When I pitch I’m always singing in my head. If you watch when I walk up to the mound I’m always bobbing my head or something else and especially with my catcher Isabell, she always keeps me in that kind of a zone because it’s easy to get tensed up and get  real stressed out on the mound so to really remain relaxed and you have to have that confidence playing, no matter where you are on the field you have to have that ‘tude so that’s always what that is so I’m always singing or doing something but having that confidence is super huge especially in big games like yesterday,” Alvaro said.

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