Confidence grows with strong start to SC season
Scott City shortstop Nicole Latta backhands the ball in the gap during Tuesday’s non-league game against Southwestern Hts. on the home field.
By Rod Haxton, editor
Just six games into the season, the Scott Community High School softball team finds itself in uncharted territory.
They don’t have a losing record.
At 3-3, they don’t have a winning record either, but when you’ve been part of a program that has finished above .500 just once in its 19 year
history (12-11 record in 2011) it’s still been a very respectable start for the Lady Beavers.
“You can see the confidence starting to build,” says first year head coach Erin Myers. “We still have a long way to go as a program, but we’re making some progress.”
Confidence is going to build when you win three of your last four games, including a sweep of Liberal. That included a 3-1 win in extra innings in the opener.
After giving up a run in the first inning, starting pitcher Bre Smull was able to hold the Redskins’ offense in check, scattering just nine hits over eight innings.
Freshman Kaitlyn Roberts scored a run to tie the game in the fourth inning and the score remained 1-1 until the top of the eighth when Amanda Kough and Kaely Zilla each reached base. With two outs, sophomore Krystal Appel hit a two-run double up the middle to put the Lady Beavers on top.
“Krystal didn’t touch a softball until last year and she’s becoming a player who is playing very well in the field and at the plate,” says Myers.
Normally a left fielder, Appel filled in at shortstop in the first game while Nicole Latta stepped over to third base in the absence of usual third baseman Kristi Faurot.
“We had a couple of early fielding errors, but then the girls settled down and played well. And Bre also pitched a nice game,” adds Myers.
The Lady Beavers exploded for 13 runs in the first three innings of the nightcap for an easy 15-8 win. A highlight of the game was a third inning inside-the-park home run by Kough.
Scott City pounded out 20 hits, including three each by Kough and freshmen Jordan Miller and Roberts.
“We probably could have run-ruled them, but I wanted to use the game as an opportunity to work on our base running,” said Myers. “I want the girls to be more aggressive on the base paths. We ran into a couple of outs, but the more aggressive we are the better it’s going to make us in the long run.”
Split With SWH
Scott City was back on the home field Tuesday where they split with Southwestern Hts. in non-league play. They dropped the opener, 13-10, but came back to win the nightcap, 14-3.
The first game was a heartbreaker for the Lady Beavers who had erased a 7-2 deficit after 3-1/2 innings to take a 10-8 lead into the top of the seventh. Fielding errors by SCHS contributed to a five run rally by the Mustangs.
“Bre pitched a good game and gave us opportunities, but we weren’t making the routine plays,” Myers says. “We have to get mentally tougher and learn how to put a mistake out of our minds and focus on the next play.”
Appel made a couple of big catches in left field that prevented at least three runs from scoring and keeping the Lady Beavers in the game.
“Krystal is getting a lot more comfortable in the outfield. She does a nice job of seeing the ball off the bat and getting into position to make plays,” says the SCHS coach.
She also credited junior Nicole Latta with taking over pitching duties late in the game when she was called on.
Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the second inning in the nightcap, Scott City poured on the offense with 13 runs in their next three at-bats to pull away for the easy win.
They also helped their cause defensively, holding the Lady Mustangs scoreless over the final three innings. The game was called after five innings on the mercy rule.
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