Last season for the Cedar Crest softball team, scoring runs was an Achilles heel. It's something the Falcons worked on all preseason long this year, hoping for better success at the plate in the 2016.
But even though it’s only been one game, there’s still work to be done improving at the plate, as Cedar Crest fell in a 9-1 loss to Governor Mifflin at home in Thursday’s season opener.
“We just need to be more aggressive,” said Falcons coach Eric Edwards. “I think we’re so tentative at the plate sometimes, and we just need to be more aggressive and trust our ability, and we’ll keep working.”
The big blow for the Falcons came in the top of the fourth inning when, down 2-0 with two outs, MaryBeth Stone cracked a three-run triple to give Governor Mifflin a 5-0 lead. Stone finished 1-for-3 with the triple and three RBIs, two walks, and a stolen base.
“We struggled to make routine plays,” Edwards said. “That’s the name of the game. You've got to be able to make those plays if you’re going to win ball games.”
But those missed routine plays didn’t help Falcons ace Maddie Gable, who got the loss despite going the distance, giving up nine runs on 10 hits, while walking four and striking out seven. But Edwards still liked what he saw from Gable on the mound despite the outcome.
“I thought Maddie threw well enough to keep us in the game,” Edwards said. “They hit her hard, but a lot of the balls were routine plays and we just have to make them. When the ball’s in the air you have to catch it, and you've got to field ground balls and make plays.”
Gable also provided the only offense of the day for the Falcons, responding at the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly to make it a 5-1 game. Overall, the Falcons finished with just two hits for the game, unable to solve the Mustangs' Dani King. King got the win while also going the distance, striking out two and walking only one.
The Mustangs added another three runs in the sixth, thanks to back-to-back RBIs from Ariana Chupkinsky and Sierra Sallada. Laura Sadavski added an RBI single later in the inning. Chupkinsky added another RBI single in the seventh to put the game away. Chupkinsky overall had a big day at the plate, finishing 3-for-4 with two singles, a triple, and two RBIs.
The Falcons have some time before their next game, which is not until April 4, when they host Hempfield.