Photo Gallery | Lenox Softball vs St. Joseph's
PITTSFIELD — In a softball game featuring two young teams, the final score isn't always as important as the knowledge and experience gained while playing. On Thursday at the Doyle Complex, Lenox earned a 13-1 win over St. Joseph, notching its second win of the season — halfway to its total from last year. The game featured a handful of youthful mistakes on both sides and despite the lopsided score, Lenox coach Peggy Steuerwald said there were plenty of teachable moments to learn from.
"It's the little things," she said when asked what the message to the team was after the game. "We've had some close games that we should've come out from, but the young-ness is killing us. The struggle with little errors. Not knowing when it's a force play, or not knowing to tag a player instead of making the extra sprint at them. ... We're working on knowing where to go to the ball and what to do when you get it."
Steuerwald added that she and her staff are constantly teaching the intricacies of the game to the players and they're starting to see improvement.
Even with their growth, the Millionaires' mental mistakes allowed St. Joe to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Ilyssa Creamer led-off the game with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a dropped-third strike. Lenox pitcher Anna Lynch settled down from there, not allowing another run. She had 18 strikeouts, scattered four hits and walked one.
St. Joe's mistakes were much more costly, as errors and other miscues turned into Lenox runs. The Millionaires scored seven times in the second inning and four the those runs were unearned. St. Joe starter Olivia Mazzeo settled down from there, however, forcing the Millionaires to make contact to earn runs. After a 1-2-3 fifth, Cate Bean relived Mazzeo, allowing two inherited runs to score before getting a strikeout to end the inning. Riley Burke led Lenox's offense, getting three hits, two RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. Lynch had a hit, two RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. Creamer led St. Joe with two hits.
Similar to Steuerwald, St. Joe coach Kyle Kasala said he focuses on the positive aspects of the game and not necessarily the final score. His inexperienced team has and will suffer tough losses, but the ability to remain upbeat and positive will help their growth as players.
"We're definitely improving since the beginning of the year," he said. "We're trying to stay positive and keep working hard.
"I would say you've got to stay positive and stay in the game. ... Whatever happens, happens. You can only do the best you can."
Kasala added that pinch-hitter Nina Ning recorded her first career hit, and nice defensive plays from Creamer at shortstop and Mazzeo at pitcher were other positives to take from the game.
Anna Lynch and Morgan Levesque. Olivia Mazzeo (5 1/3), Cate Bean (2/3) and Colleen Baker. W — Lynch, L Mazzeo.