MARYVILLE, Mo. — The Maryville High School softball team dropped its first conference game of the year 5-2 against the Cameron Dragons on Tuesday.
Coming off of a 12-3 loss against Worth County, Monday, the Spoofhounds (0-3, 0-1 MEC) started slow with no runs in the first five innings. Because of the game the day before, coach Chandra DeMott put up a Bingo board in an attempt to put a game within the game.
“We had different softball goals on (the board),” DeMott said. “Things being a double play, some strikeouts and the girls were going for blackout Bingo. (We’re) just trying to keep the game fun while being competitive. They’re still focusing on things they need to focus on, just something else in there to keep the momentum going.”
Although the first four innings saw no scoring, the next two innings proved to be eventful. The Dragons got on the board first with a single in the bottom of the fifth.
“(It was) just some strikes that hadn’t previously been there,” DeMott said. “It kind of seemed to open up again. Girls were watching some pitches that were coming inside and outside. They’re not your ideal pitch, but we have to learn when you have two strikes you’ve got to come around on that."
With four seniors on its roster, Maryville is reliant on its underclassmen to step up. Because it's early in the season, DeMott said the widened strike zone is something the younger girls need to adjust to.
“There are just some offensive things we need to clean up,” DeMott said. “A lot of that is happening to our younger players and so that’s just not a lot of what they’ve seen before.”
Maryville followed up the Dragons run in the fifth with two of its own in the bottom of the frame.
“The girls, mentally, were in a much better place tonight than they were last night,” DeMott said. “Our starting first baseman was out tonight with the flu so we pulled in (Jessica Finch) and (she) stepped in nicely. … Any team that’s faced with that minutes before a game and is able to make that adjustment says a lot about where we are mentally.”
Cameron then tied the game in the top of the sixth in part to two Spoofhound errors. The Dragons would then add three more on two singles and a fielder's choice.
Maryville left two stranded in the bottom of the sixth and a double play turned in the bottom of the seventh gave the Dragons the victory.
The Spoofhounds will travel Thursday to St. Joseph to take on Lafayette for their second conference matchup of the season.