Cleveland softball coach Connie Stobert feels the Lady Raiders can compete with anybody.
That is, if they learn to discipline themselves at the plate.
“We showed some signs of life today. We had a few good spurts, now we have to put it all together and have a lot of spurts like that,” Stobert said after the Lady Raiders’ 9-2 loss to Soddy-Daisy Tuesday afternoon. “They are getting pretty solid defense, we’ve just got to start working the bats a little more and making those adjustments.”
The Lady Trojans fired out of the gate with three runs in the first and followed up with three more in the second.
Cleveland pitcher Haley Hodgson and the Lady Raiders’ defense held Soddy scoreless the next two innings and mounted a threat offensively in the bottom of the fourth.
Shay Sparks reached on a Soddy error and trotted to second when the throw sailed into the Lady Trojans’ dugout. The opportunity fell short when Sparks was thrown out at the plate after a single by Brittany Arnold.
Soddy-Daisy (2-0, 2-0 District 5-AAA) cranked out three hits in the top of the fifth and took advantage of a Cleveland (0-2, 0-2) miscue to put three more runs on the board.
The Lady Raiders did not go quietly. Jasmine Martin worked Soddy pitching for a walk and Abi Dye followed with a single just over the bag at third that threw chalk into the air. An errant throw landed runners on second and third. Hodgson stepped in the box and laid down a perfect squeeze bunt that scored Martin, and Dye raced home with Cleveland’s second run when the throw to the plate sent to the backstop.
The Lady Raiders held the Lady Trojans scoreless the rest of the way, but could do no further damage at the plate and Soddy closed out the win.
“The girls have a hard time adjusting to off-speed pitches, slower pitchers. Honestly, we haven’t faced a lot of fast pitchers yet, so they are used to practicing with that speed,” said Stobert. “It’s hard with someone with fast hands to adjust sometimes. But, they will get there. That is just the second game of our season, but they have to adjust quickly though.”
Soddy-Daisy 330 030 0 — 9 12 2
Cleveland 000 002 0 — 2 3 3
WP: Ashley Chaney; LP: Haley Hodgson. Records: Soddy-Daisy 2-0, 2-0 5-AAA; Cleveland 0-2, -0-2.