Berea thwarts home opener for youthful MC
By Marcus Fitzsimmons | (email@example.com)
Maryville didn’t have to get back on the bus Sunday but the Lady Scots softball team also had to take a minute to not only remember what it was like to take the field first, but also who needed to do what following Berea’s sweep of the afternoon doubleheader.
The NAIA visitors from Kentucky took a 12-3 (5 inn.) decision in the first session and held on for a 4-1 win in the closer to dampen, but not darken, Maryville’s home opener
“We’re still young obviously, but like I told them, it may have been two losses but it was the best two games we’ve played yet this year,” Maryville College coach Kim Woodard told The Daily Times. “It was nice to be at home. We didn’t know how to do our home lineup at first. I know the girls were ready to go and I was ready to go too. We needed that experience of being on the fielding side first but definitely nice be home and be here for a little while.”
Maryville (0-10) sports a transfer senior — Andrea Brew — and a transfer junior — Taylor Dockery — but the rest of the Scots are sophomores and freshman and opening the year with eight road games has been a learning experience for a team nearly as new as the season.
“We’re coming together as a team and figuring out the pieces on what we want to do and how we want to use the 1-2 punch on the mound. They’re coming together. They stayed up all day and that’s what we’ve asked.”
Dockery’s sixth-inning triple out to right center gave rise to MC hopes as the second game wound down. The Maryville High alum stood poised at third when Hannah Youngdeer crushed a line drive off of reliever Katelyn Blair. Berea shortstop Hailey Catron took the shot in the chest knocking the likely extra-bagger into the infield dirt but not before Dockery had come in to give Youngdeer the RBI single. The Scots peppered the outfield the rest of the way but couldn’t find the outfield gaps after erasing the 0 in the 4-1 loss.
“Hitting is still part of the process, it’s still our strength. We have the great hitters up and down the lineup,” Woodard said. “It’s one of the parts we’re figuring out of who is going where, finding the key roles of where to put them.”
Berea (4-0) capitalized on five MC errors in the opener for the run-rule win in five frames but the Scots committed only one boo-boo in the second as home field started to become like a home field.
“This was our best week of practice. We went down to the nitty gritty on defense, working on dive plays and getting our feet quicker, catchers blocking the plate, outfield working on angles,” Woodard said. “The basic mechanics really helped us with our defense.”
Maryville returns to action Saturday hosting Piedmont as the home opener extends into an eight game homestand. The two-game set will mark the first-ever USA South action for both schools, who both left the Great South following the conclusion of last season’s play.
“We’re looking for some great wins, they’re great contests for us that will push us hard, but looking forward to starting conference play,” Woodard said. “Piedmont is a great rival and nothing better than playing them on home field.”
BEREA 12, SCOTS 2
BC 140 34x x — 12
MC 000 30x x — 3
WP: Tessla Arvin (1-0). LP: Corey Harrell (0-2)
BEREA 4, SCOTS 1
BC 103 000 0 — 4
MC 000 001 0 — 1
WP: Victoria Sergent (2-0). LP: Lexie Randoplh (0-5)