Although the Trojan softball team fell 10-0 and 12-1 in two shortened losses Monday night at home versus top-ranked Davenport Assumption, who plays in a 5A conference where they ran the table last season, there were most definitely positives for Fairfield.
In game one, the top of the order went 4-9 at the plate, led by two hits from sophomore shortstop Shay Drish.
Fellow 10th grader Allison Rebling took the loss after allowing nine runs, six earned, on seven hits and one walk while striking out one batter over 2 1/3 innings.
Eighth grader Brynley Allison gave up one earned run off of three hits in 2 2/3 innings of relief.
The Trojans? Ashtyn Drish drove in her sister Shay in the bottom of the first to give Fairfield a 1-0 lead they held against the No. 1 team in Class 3A until the Knights tied it in the top of the third.
Head Coach Bob Bradfield thought the Trojans had good contact throughout the lineup during game two, even though he said the Knights? No. 2 pitcher is as good as anyone Fairfield will face in this part of the state.
Bradfield thinks his infield defense was solid and expects to lean on them throughout the year, while the outfield play was spotty, missing routine plays that Bradfield simply said, ?we have to make.?
Bailey Hird went 4 1/3 innings before coming out with a bruised shin after she took a line drive off her leg trailing 7-1 with one out in the top of the fifth.
Junior Blair Bowman came in and pitched the last 1 2/3 innings for the Trojans, allowing five runs to score on four hits and three walks as the Knights added three runs in the sixth to end the game an inning early.
Coach Bradfield suggested it would have been better to see a team like Assumption three weeks into the season and not on opening night at home, but he believes this is one of the better teams he?s faced including at the state tournament and thinks anyone team in the state would struggle facing the Knights in a double-header.
Bradfield admitted that the team is probably a little behind because they were only able to play five games this spring and with a slew of open positions, they rotated several players into the lineup and made several adjustments during the ballgames that didn?t allow for much continuity.
That being said, Bradfield believes that once healthy, Allison Rebling is as good as any pitcher in the Southeast Conference and the Trojans infield defense will be one of the best in the SEC as well.
Bradfield concluded by pointing out that kids forget things real fast and while he still gets upset thinking about games from years ago, all his team needs to do is play well at Eddyville Thursday and get a couple of home wins next week against Sigourney and Washington and they?ll be back to normal.