It was an unusual early morning wake-up call for the defending Mid-Suburban League East softball champions on Monday.
But the Buffalo Grove Bison didn't mind the 8 a.m. starting time one bit.
"It was great to get on the field," said Bison coach Jamie Paul, whose team's late comeback just fell short in a 5-3 loss to Trinity at the Rosemont Indoor Dome.
"Even though it wasn't outside, it was great to be able stretch out on a field and learn what we need to work on. We'll go back and make some adjustments and hopefully we'll get outside soon."
Trinity, which belted 60 home runs a year ago in a 29-5 season, took a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth when it scored four times. The Blazers took advantage of 2 errors and also had a triple,(Michela Williams), double (Allison Borawski) and single (Carrie Shere) in the inning.
But the Bison got back 2 runs in the top of the sixth when junior Caitlin Catino led off with a bunt single and stole second.
The speedy center fielder came home on junior pinch-hitter Cynthia Gorski's single to center.
After a groundout to short and strikeouts, Gorski scored on senior Michelle Dublin's two-out single to center to make it 5-3.
"We didn't quit," Paul added. "We did a lot of good things. We just have to make some hitting adjustments and defensively we have to do the little things."
Junior Julia Camardo went 4⅓ innings for the Bison while senior Breann Steady threw the final 1⅔ innings, striking out the final two batters of the fifth and retiring the side in order in the sixth.
"Their first pitcher (Camardo) does a nice job," said Trinity coach Bob Osborne, who has five starters from a regional championship team. "She changes speeds and moves the ball around. I thought we did a good job when we had the opportunities.
"Their second pitcher (Steady) did a nice job, too. She made her pitches."
After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, BG tied the game in the top of the fifth when Dublin (2-for-3) started the inning with a base hit. She got to second on a wild pitch and took third on a groundout to third.
Freshman Jasmine Avalos's first varsity hit, a two-out single to left, got Dublin home for the 1-1 tie.
"We have a lot of talent," said Catino, who batted .465 with a team-high 40 hits last spring as an all-area center fielder. "We've just got to fix a few rough edges. If we practice hard, we'll be a good team. It was great to be able to play a game."
Just like Dublin, third baseman Avalos also went 2-for-3 in the game while sophomore catcher Emily Carnes had a double to left center to lead off the third before winning pitcher Cortlyn Kelly struck out the side.
"That's a nice team," Osborne said of BG. "We're a little different team than last season. We are faster in parts and play better defense. We have to do the little things."
The main thing was getting to compete in a game Monday.
"This was exciting just being able to play," Osborne said. "When we found out they had an opening, I said 'give it to me.' "
Of the Blazers' 60 home runs last season, 48 of them came from players who have graduated.
"We need to get to about 30 this season," Osborne said. " We'll get there. I know we have a couple of girls in the lineup who will get their share."
The Bison had their share of fans Monday as many of the school's baseball players cheered behind the right field fence.
"That was awesome," Paul said.
"We kept fighting," the coach added. "We got clutch hits and I saw all good things. We just had some hiccups that determined the game.
"We've just got to start clicking on all cylinders. This was good to get an idea of what we have to work on. All positive things came out of it."