It was an inauspicious opening act for the Solanco softball coach, but coach Brett Miller is confident the Mules will improve drastically once they get more rehearsals and performances under their belts.
Section rival Elizabethtown posted a 13-2 triumph over host Solanco in five innings in the curtain-jerker Wednesday, March 27.
The Golden Mules made six errors. "For some, it was the first time playing [on the varsity level]," Miller said. "I think it's a matter of you've got to give three outs an inning. Those things have to be worked on. We've got to get an opportunity to get good practices in and get a lot of repetition. One game doesn't make the season so we've got to keep working through it."
After Solanco stranded two runners in the bottom of the first, Elizabethtown erupted for five runs in the top of the second. Hayden Calaman ignited the uprising with a double down the third base line and scored on Megan Gary's single to center. Erin Heffleger knocked in a run with a bunt single. Two runs scored on the Mules' second error of the inning.
Solanco tallied twice in the home half of the third to temporarily get back in the game. With two outs and no one on base, Skyla Townsley reached on an error. Jade Eshelman had an infield hit on a grounder to the first baseman. The second baseman was late covering the first base bag and could not hang on to the throw. The ball rolled out of play putting runners on second and third. Pitcher Sierra Dean delivered a two-run double to left-center.
E-town responded immediately by scoring three runs in the top of the fourth, aided by two more Mules miscues.
Solanco committed three errors in the fifth as the Bears built their lead to 13-2.
"It's a situation where it just takes repetition so the girls get to the level where they have to know what happens should happen," said Miller. "It it isn't that they were making bad decisions. You've got to make the play. That requires repetition, keep working, and getting better at it. You're going to have growing pains. That's part of it. I thought Sierra threw well enough to hit spots. If we give three outs an inning … sometimes you can give four, but you can't compound them. We gave up a couple big innings."