For the first five batters of Rosary's 2012 softball season things could not have started better.
Unfortunately for the Royals in their opener Tuesday at Yorkville, not much else went right -- starting with the 13 batters the Foxes sent to the plate in the first inning and continuing throughout a 17-5 loss in four-and-a-half innings.
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"I'm definitely happy first game of the season offensively but defensively we've got some lapses," Rosary coach John Kamierczak said. "That is kind of what I expected. We've got a young team."
Maddie Merritt opened the game for Rosary (0-1) with a bunt single. Kates Groom followed with a single and Samantha Phelps put the Royals on the board with a bloop single to left.
Cleanup hitter Ariana Stone's 2-run single up the middle past the diving second baseman and a triple to right-center from Cara Smoczynski made it 4-0 Rosary and gave the Royals five hits in their first five at-bats of the year.
That also turned out to be the last batter for Yorkville starter Lauren Rhodes. Foxes coach Kathi Dockstader turned to sophomore Rachael Owens who not only stranded Smoczynski at third with no outs, she held the Royals to 1 more unearned run.
"She (Rhodes) usually does a pretty decent job but they were hitting her pretty good today so we had to make a change and try someone else and that worked," Dockstader said.
Yorkville (1-0) got those four runs back in a hurry. Smoczynski walked the leadoff batter in the bottom of the inning, the first of 13 hitters to come to the plate in a 9-run first.
Lauren Murray had an RBI single in the third to plate Stone and bring the Royals within 10-5, but the Foxes made Rosary pay for letting an infield pop drop to start the third inning. That opened the floodgates for a 7-run inning that included a stretch of double-triple-triple as the Foxes built a 17-5 lead.
Yorkville finished with 6 extra-base hits among its 17 hits.
"We hit the ball pretty well, a lot of extra-base hits and they did a real nice job," Dockstader said. "We've been working on some aggressive baserunning and I thought we were real aggressive today getting the extra base and hopefully that will continue."
Lexi Lovetere relieved Smoczynski and pitched a scoreless fourth. Phelps and Stone led Rosary's offense with 2 hits each.
"I told the girls I'm surprised we were as tentative and hesitant as we were," Kamierczak said. "We've thrown everything at them in a short amount of time (at practice) and the weather has cooperated. We've been able to practice and stuff, but we didn't do the basics today.
"It's going to be a learning and growing experience for the team this year. That's the way I look at it."