After a week of battle, the Watertown-Mayer softball team finds themselves on the right side of the win column. The Royals first shut out Tri-City United Thursday, April 10 in the team’s season opener, before splitting a pair of weekend games in the Stacy Vanderlinde Tournament, giving the Royals a 2-1 record to begin the season.
The girls got off to a great start Thursday, shutting down TCU 6-0. The Lily Reinert, Alyssa Kolb pitcher – catcher connection was firing on all cylinders in the win. Reinert dominated the circle for the Royals, going seven strong and striking out five, with Kolb behind the plate, orchestrating every pitch.
“For the first game out, and only the fourth day outside, our girls showed a lot of promise against a good TCU squad,” said Royals coach Scott Isakson.
The Royals brought a strong presence at the plate as well, even more than the six runs eluded to.
“The girls showed that they are capable of improving on this offensive performance,” Isakson said. “There were several balls that were well hit, but they were right at TCU defenders.”
Caitlin Kammerer and Reinert finished with three hits apiece to lead the offensive charge.
The Royals would square off against Litchfield Saturday in the Stacy Vanderlinde Tournament and would continue their stellar play. Unlike Thursday’s win, this game the Royals capitalized on their run scoring opportunities early and often. The Royals put up eight runs in the first three innings en route to an 11-1 win over Litchfield.
“The girls did a good job of converting on scoring opportunities as we were able to score in the first three innings,” Isakson said.
Reinert has been dominate to start the season, as she and her Royals defense have surrendered just one run in their first two games.
“Reinert did a good job in the circle and the defense played well behind her,” Isakson said. “It was nice to see contributions from many different players in this game. Natalie Neumann did a great job on the base paths as the courtesy runner. Shannon Dale, Britni Grossinger, and Carli Willette all made the [Litchfield] pitcher work in their plate appearances.”
The Royals scorching 2-0 start came to a screeching halt in their second game of the tournament, losing 7-2 to Rockford. With the Royals trailing just 3-2 in the top of the seventh, Rockford broke out with a four-run inning, ballooning the lead to five and eventually securing the win.
Again, the Royals found themselves with ample opportunity to put runs on the board, but just fell a little short.
“Unfortunately we missed out on some opportunities to score in the second and third innings,” Isakson said. “I think I need to get a little more creative as the coach to help put the team in a better position to capitalize on some of our opportunities.”
Rockford will be one of several sectional teams vying for a state birth. If the Royals have aspirations of reaching state, Rockford and teams with their talent level will have to be exercised.
“Rockford is a very good team, they are well coached, and there is a reason they are ranked in the preseason top 5 for A/AA,” Isakson said. “For us its nice to see competition like this, so we have an idea of what our target is for improvement.”
The Royals will host NYA Central and Sibley East April 21-22, before hitting the road to NYA on April 24.
Contact Christopher Officer at email@example.com