[Photo provided by Toan Ngo]
Through nine games Noel is hitting .548 with five doubles, two homers, 17 runs batted in and a downright silly 1.491 OPS (on-base plus slugging). R-B (6-3), as a team, was hitting .404 through eight games, and has a signature win over Nazareth. Seven girls have homered, three of them twice, including Noel.
"It's great to see someone grow into the player that you were hoping they would grow into," said Schultz, who has known Noel since she was a seventh-grader coming to camps. "She's a very advanced hitter for her age."
Indeed, Noel is the uncommon power hitter that isn't overly pull-conscious.
And she's come a long way in that capacity.
She used to pull the ball too much, and grounded out often. Constant work with her dad, Randy, coach of the 16U Windmills travel team, and three hitting coaches has made for a mature hitter who is always thinking when she's in the batter's box.
"I watch the pitcher a lot to know where to stand in the box. Once I get there, it's all about adjustments," Noel said. "It took me a while to figure out what my focus had to be. When I was younger I didn't think about it; I just hoped that I would hit the ball. I had to tell myself that I could it. The confidence really helped."