Raiders just bust a move to get offense rolling in home-opening victory against Eagles


From left, Quincy Notre Dame's Brooke Boden, Lanie Fesler and Caitlin Bunte high-five each other before an inning during Thursday's game against Liberty at The Backyard. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — One of Caitlin Bunte’s responsibilities, aside from being the Quincy Notre Dame softball team’s starting pitcher and leadoff hitter, is to choose the musical playlist that serves as the soundtrack for each game at The Backyard.

She has four personally designed playlists at her disposal.

“Stuff that gets me hyped, stuff that’s upbeat and gets you in the mood to play,” Bunte said. “Stuff that makes you happy.”

Thursday’s choosing was a mix of ‘80s hard rock and ’80s classics.

“This one has to be my favorite,” Bunte said. “Love this playlist.”

From the stands to the dugout, everyone loved her mix of Van Halen, Metallica, Beastie Boys and Young MC. Most importantly, the Raiders used it to rock n’ roll.

QND scored in every inning, collected 17 hits and beat Liberty 9-2 in its home opener. The offensive rhythm was a welcome sight since the Raiders had played only one game — an 8-0 victory at Southeastern a week ago.

“It feels like it’s been weeks since we played,” Bunte said. “Coming into this, we were all so excited to play.”

The musical choice helped set the tone.

“I go with the vibes of the team,” Bunte said. “Sometimes we’ll go with 2000s hits or stuff like that. Today was definitely oldies. We were in the mood for softball and it’s what got us going.”

Senior third baseman Brooke Boden, senior catcher Payton Stupavsky and junior shortstop Alyssa Ley each gave the classic rock playlist a thumbs up and understandably so. That trio went a combined 6 for 12 with four RBIs.

Hitting with runners consistently on base helps.

That’s where Bunte sets the tone. She went 4 for 4 with three doubles, three runs scored and two RBIs in the leadoff spot and everyone followed. Lauren Miller went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and Lanie Fesler went 2 for 3 with two runs scored.

“Up and down the lineup, we put the ball in play and made things happen,” QND coach Eric Orne said. “Our weekly schedule gets a lot busier starting next week, which is good, but for our second game of the year, I thought we had a really good game.”

Bunte’s performance in the pitcher’s circle helped with that, too.

Liberty’s Ava Heming led off the game with a double to left-center field and went to third on Aly Lefringhouse’s groundout. A double play on a line drive to Ley ended the threat. After that, Bunte was in complete control. She struck out 13 of the next 15 batters, mixing in two groundouts, before leaving after the sixth inning.

Boden pitched the seventh, allowing a pair of runs as Heming and Lefringhouse led off with back-to-back singles and eventually came around to score. Boden ended the threat there, getting an infield popout to end the game.

And since the ‘80s playlist worked so well, don’t be surprised to hear “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” or “Bust a Move” blaring from the PA system at the next home game.

“Those are two of my favorite songs on that playlist,” Bunte said.

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