A case of the jitters
Thu. May 23, 2013 at 10:27 p.m. | By Powell Latimer | StarNews Staff Writer
Trask's Kyra Holmes leaves a teammate on base in the fourth inning as the Titans struggle to put runs on the board against South Creek during their regional tournament game at Trask on Thursday night. (Photo by Jeff Janowski)
ROCKY POINT | Trask's smooth ride through the postseason went off the road Thursday night.
The Titans fell to Robersonville South Creek 8-2 in the first round of the NCHSAA softball Class 1A East regional series, the product of early miscues.
"Nerves and inexperience got them," Trask coach Corrina Reese said. "Once they settled down, they didn't play a bad game. But this late in the playoffs, there ain't a big enough shovel to dig out of the hole."
Trask (20-2) struggled from the first inning. Three errors in the opening frame brought in three South Creek runs, and in the third inning the Cougars (21-4) laid down four consecutive bunt singles to bring home four more runs.
"They've held up so good to this point that I think the pressure finally got to them," Reese said.
The start couldn't have been any worse for Trask, and came as a surprise to Reese. The Titans' young lineup – five freshman starters – handled pressure well throughout the playoffs, but nerves were a factor early.
"They weren't expected to win at Princeton, and once they did they really thought they could win here. So they put the pressure on themselves," Reese said.
Once behind, Trask struggled to generate offense. The Titans scored one run in both the fourth and fifth innings but could never gain a rhythm. Trask stranded a runner in scoring position in each of the final four frames.
Part of those struggles had to do with strong pitching from South Creek's Lauren Sitterson, who had seven strikeouts in six innings, and Taylor Moore, who closed the game with two strikeouts in the seventh inning.
But Reese also said the early hole was a new experience for the Titans.
"We're not used to being behind. We've been up in every game, we've never had to chase. We've always been in control. We don't have the experience to come back right now. It was new for us."
Reese said the one good thing about a three-hour road trip to Robersonville for game two of the series Friday was getting her team away from the scene of so many mistakes.
"They didn't see our best team tonight. We didn't show what we're capable off. I'm confident we'll come back tomorrow," Reese said.
Powell Latimer: 343-2261
On Twitter: @StarNewsVarsity