This is a lesson that should comfort both the Cartersville and Woodland softball teams since neither had a great first day of competition Saturday as the Lady Canes split their two games at the Villa Rica Wildcat Tournament while Woodland lost its scrimmage at home.
Lady Canes coach Rick Holsomback had higher expectations for his team’s performance Saturday.
Although Cartersville split two games, Holsomback was not pleased with his squad’s performance.
The team managed to pull out a 6-5 victory in extra innings playing Villa Rica in the first game, but it was not a very pretty game, according to the coach.
“We left about 14 or 15 girls on base with the bases loaded,” he said. “We just didn’t hit when we needed to. We’re not coming up with clutch hits and we’re not having plate discipline.”
The Lady Canes scored four runs on passed balls and two runs on walks. Cartersville batters walked 14 times in the eight innings and added three hits.
One bright spot, besides picking up the win, was the pitching performance of Annalyn Yantis. The junior came in as a reliever and pitched five innings, allowing one run, and received her first decision of the season.
Yantis also scored the winning run on a passed ball.
The team scored without getting a hit in the sixth inning thanks to Kailah Rain. After taking a walk, she stole second and third before coming around to score on a passed ball.
The second game was more of the same for the Cartersville bats. However, this time the Lady Canes were unable to take advantage of their opposition’s miscues and were shutout by Central-Carrollton High School, 8-0.
“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Holsomback said. “We are playing sloppy right now. I expected better offense and better defense this early.
“I’m glad we are playing like this now and not next week. Hopefully, we can get this out of our system.”
Cartersville played a third game Saturday against Heard County, but the score was reported past deadline.
Woodland softball coach Colman Roberts places a high priority on playing tough competition early on in the season.
That is why to prepare the Lady Wildcats for their season opener his team took on a tough Kennesaw Mountain team Saturday in a scrimmage at Woodland high, which resulted in an 8-4 loss.
“We always like playing them. They are a top-five Class AAAAAA team,” Roberts said. “We are going to play a lot of good teams and see what we have.”
The Woodland defense gave up just two big innings to Kennesaw Mountain, which scored four runs in each the second and seventh innings.
The Lady Wildcats had a four-run inning of their own in the sixth. The highlight of the scoring outburst was Sydney Hodorff’s three-run double to deep left field. The junior catcher was also solid behind the plate. Roberts will be counting on Hodorff this season to replace Lacey Fritz’s production as the backstop.
Center fielder Bailey Roberts went 2-for-3 hitting from the no. 2 spot in the order. Ashley Jordan and Kereston Franklin also had hits for Woodland.
“We have a long way to go, but it’s still early,” Roberts said. “There are a lot of things we have got to work on.”
The team’s next game is Tuesday at 5 p.m. against Northwest Whitfield.
“[Northwest Whitfield] was AAAA state champ and we beat them last year,” Roberts said. “They didn’t lose a game for the rest of the season, so that’s kind of a friendly rivalry.”