It was not like the Metea Valley softball team had to wait a long time for Monday's 11-8 season-opening road win at Plainfield North to start its season schedule.
The team had just Saturday's doubleheader at Naperville North canceled because of the lingering effects of winter. But the weather prevented the Mustangs from practicing outside in the preseason and Monday was the first day the team was on an actual field.
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"I'm extremely happy. The kids did a nice job. It was our first time on dirt and they came out ready to go," said Metea coach Kris Kalivas.
The Mustangs racked up 13 hits on the afternoon that allowed them to score at least one run in the game's first five innings and at least two in three of the innings.
The team got to work right away in the first with three runs on four hits. Leadoff hitter Alise Perna connected on the first pitch of the season with a single to center followed by Megan Archey's single to left and Megan Arcivar's basehit to center that scored Perna. The Tigers (0-1) committed three errors in the inning and two of them scored Archey and Arcivar.
Perna connected for singles on her first four trips to the plate to finish 4-for-5. Archey was 3-for-4 and Laura Senese was 3-for-4 with a double.
"I was really glad to get out here. It was an adjustment hitting with the wind," Perna said.
The wind was blowing in from the south to southwest and was a factor especially early on. It helped some hitters.
"I didn't mind it. I hit that way. It carried the ball and I was able to hit it harder and farther," Archey said.
Plainfield North answered immediately with two runs in its half of the first. But the Tigers scored just one run the next innings while the Mustangs opened the game up with a run each in the second and third and then six runs combined in the fourth and fifth to take an 11-3 lead.
"Perna ignited things and everyone else followed up," Kalivas said.
The Tigers did get back into the game with three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth, but Metea's Elise Titiner set Plainfield North down in order in the seventh to put the finishing touches on the game.
Titiner went 1⅓ innings in relief of starting and winning pitcher Jenna Hall. Titiner struck out one. Hall struck out four, and Kalivas praised both for their efforts.
With Metea lacking in preseason outdoor practice time, Kalivas knew her team was facing a challenge Monday. But she was happy with the end result.
"I wasn't sure how we would respond. We're young There are a lot of new faces this year, a lot of new varsity players," she said.