AURORA | For a season opener with very little practice under their belts, Kelly Jones-Wagy came away relatively pleased with the performance of her Overland softball team on Friday.
The Trailblazers scored twice in the first inning against visiting Adams City at Utah Park and showed glimpses along the way, though ultimately a lack of practice and a few defensive lapses cost them in a 14-2 loss to the Eagles in a game stopped after five innings by the 10-run mercy rule.
With very little chance to work on hitting yet in the early season, Jayla Jackson had the only hit for Overland — a fourth-inning single — against two Adams City pitchers, while Annabel Spoerl and Cheri Griffin scored the first inning runs for Jones-Wagy’s Trailblazers.
“There’s some good things and some bad things to take away from it,” said Jones-Wagy, last season’s Centennial League Coach of the Year.
“We have a little rust to kick off, we’ve only been able to get out on the field two times so far this season. It’s one of those things that I’d really like to see a few more practices to get them more experience and kick off a little more rust and I think we’re going to be in good shape for the rest of the season.”
Overland returns just three players from last season’s team and debuted a number of freshmen, including starting pitcher Gracey Martinez.
Adams City’s first three hitters reached on two singles and a walk and all three came around to score with the hope of a throwing error on the Trailblazers’ catcher. Shortstop Madi Rivas caught a line drive and turned it into a double play and Spoerl hauled in a drive to center field to end the Eagles’ rally.
In the bottom of the inning, Spoerl reached on a four-pitch walk against Adams City starter Ianna Rivera and came around to score after a pair of wild pitches. Griffin got hit by a pitch and after Martinez and fellow freshman Katrina Thomas walked to load the bases, while Ashanti Brown picked up an RBI when Rivera hit her with the first pitch of her at-bat.
Adams City switched from Rivera to Dominique Contreras, who allowed just two base runners over the sat four innings, including Jackson’s solid single to right field.
A lot of Overland’s struggles at the plate could be attributed to the limited amount of practice.
“It’s a lot different than when you practice once so you get out there and you actually have to hit against a human instead of a machine,” Spoerl said. “It’s kindof scary, but you get over it. I obviously didn’t hit, I hit once, but the other girls did pretty good, so I’m proud of them hitting for the first time in an actual game.”
Contreras and Sierra Gutierrez each hit two-run singles in the Eagles’ six-run third inning and they finally knocked out Martinez in the fifth, when they sent 10 batters to the plate. Thomas retired two of the four hitters she faced.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or email@example.com. Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
ADAMS CITY 14, OVERLAND 2 (5 INN.)
Score by innings:
Adams City 306 05 — 14
Overland 200 00 — 2
WP — Adams City: Dominique Contreras. LP — Overland: Gracey Martinez. Adams City hitting: Dominique Contreras 4-4, 2 RBI, 3 runs; Sierra Gutierrez 3-5, 2 RBI, 2 runs; Alejandra Pena 2-3, 2 runs, RBI; Overland hitting: Jayla Jackson 1-2; Annabel Spoerl 0-2, BB, run; Cheri Griffin 0-2, HBP, run; Ashanti Brown HBP, RBI