The visiting Columbus East girls softball team jumped out to a quick lead against Edinburgh and held on to secure its first victory of the season, an 11-5 triumph.
The Olympians racked up 17 hits and were led by junior pitcher Hayley Smalley, who pitched 5-2/3 shutout innings to secure the win.
“I felt very confident out there today,” Smalley said. “I was hitting my spots, and my change-up was working. I’m very happy with how I pitched.”
“Hayley pitched well today,” East coach Sonny Stahl said. “Her and the catcher (Elyse Babb) meshed very well. Babb called a good game, and Hayley hit her spots. She pitched well over the weekend, as well, but she really put it together today.”
The Lancers were victimized by three errors in their season-opener.
“We had some errors tonight that need to be fixed, and we obviously need to work on our hitting,” Edinburgh coach Autumn Humbaugh said. “I’m glad we got this game behind us so we could see what we need to work on.”
East (1-2) jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead by taking advantage of early Edinburgh errors. Balanced hitting throughout the lineup kept the pressure on the home team.
The Lancers (0-1) battled back, cutting the lead to 8-5 and forcing Stahl to bring Smalley back into the game to lock down the victory.
“I probably switched Hayley out too soon, and Edinburgh kept playing hard and had us worried,” Stahl said. “Our girls were never emotionally out of the game. They stayed positive, and that’s what we’ve been striving for. When the team gets down and gives up, it costs you games.”
“The determination of these girls is encouraging,” Humbaugh said. “We’re a very young team and lack experience as a team. However, they give everything they have, and that makes me very proud as a coach. Even after struggling early in the game, they kept playing hard and gave us a lot of positives.”