Kodiak’s softball team had a lot of time to regroup after opening with four straight losses two weeks ago.

The Bears lost two games each to small-school powerhouses Sitka and Juneau in Sitka.

It wasn’t the start of the season Kodiak coach Sam Catt envisioned.

“Sitka was a filling-out process and we have been rebuilding since then,” the fourth-year coach said. “We have been talking about it every day on how important it is to perform well. Everything that we learned in Sitka we have been working on.”

Catt wasn’t pleased with his team’s situational awareness — throwing to the right bases and moving runners over on the base paths — and has been spending time in practice to fix that.

He is hoping the practice pays off when Kodiak begins Northern Lights Conference play at 6 p.m. today at Soldotna. The Bears finish the two-game NLC series with the Stars at 1 p.m. Saturday.

With only eight conference games and no conference tournament, Catt said it is paramount that the team starts well.

“That is going to be very important to us this year,” Catt said. “We have some lofty goals.”

Catt said Kodiak’s goal is to win the Northern Lights Conference, something that the Bears haven’t done since 2009.

Kodiak finished second last year with an 8-2 record. Homer won the NLC with a 9-1 mark, while Soldotna finished third at 7-3. Kodiak split a pair of games with both Homer and Soldotna.

Only the top two in the five-team conference advance to state. Catt is anticipating this season to be as tightly contested as last season.

“I don’t expect it to be any different and probably even a little more competitive,” Catt said.

Catt received a bit of good news on Tuesday when Skyview beat Homer for the first time in school history, 6-5. The Mariners dropped to 0-5 after beginning the season with four losses against large-school opponents.

Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at sports@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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