So far, so good for Glen Rose in the 2013 season.
The Lady Tigers (1-0) had big innings early and late to topple visiting Godley 10-7 Monday night in the program’s first game on its new turf field.
Both teams had seven hits, while Godley committed more errors (5-4) in a game where Glen Rose relied heavily on freshmen with several key players still busy with basketball season.
"It's just great to get a win, especially this early in the season," said coach Kiel Miller. "You don't want to make it this close after you jump out to a 6-0 lead, but we're relatively inexperienced in varsity softball right now and some of these girls only had two full practices coming in. I like how we got our focus back after their big (fifth) inning."
Leading hitters were Madison Calvert (double, single, 3 RBIs) and Alex Dahl (double, single, RBI).
"The start of the season can dictate how the season is going to go," Dahl said. "It takes a lot to get back up from a loss in the first game, so this was a huge opportunity for us and we took advantage of it."
Other notable offensive contributors included Kelsy Massey (single, 2 RBIs), Destiny Lewis (single), Cheyenne Harton (single), Sierra Armstrong (RBI) and Hannah Morales (RBI).
Calvert (7 IP, 7 R – 3 ER, 7 H, 4 W, HBP, 6 K) also got the job done in the circle, as she was especially strong fielding her position.
"Madison defends the (circle) as good as anybody I've seen in my years coaching," Miller said. "We want to cut down on the walks, and I thought a couple of them could've gone either way. For her first game, I thought she did outstanding."
After second baseman Kensy Massey made a diving catch to end the top of the first, Glen Rose made Godley pay for four errors in the bottom of the inning to go up 4-0.
"That saved a run; it was an excellent job by Kensy," Miller said.
Following a Lewis leadoff single, Calvert hit an RBI single over first base (1-0). Dahl then smashed a line RBI double over the left fielder (2-0).
"I was nervous, but credit Coach Miller for working with me a lot," Dahl said.
The coach was pleased to see the senior catcher come through.
"That's the hardest Alex has hit the ball since I've known her," Miller said. "She's been working hard in the weight room and it paid off, plus her speed has improved."
With two outs and runners on the corners, Kelsy Massey drove the ball to right field and two more runs came in on a fielding error and then a throwing error (4-0).
Lewis had to leave the game due to injury in the top of the second, as Dakotah Ponce replaced her at third base.
"Lewis has been battling knee problems and we'll see how long she's out, but I thought she did a great job while she was in there," the coach said.
Calvert successfully fielded two bunts in the inning.
"I think the curveball was working well for Madison and she pitched a great game," Dahl said.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the second, Kelsy Massey hit a two-RBI single past the third baseman (6-0).
In the top of the fifth, Godley came storming back via a single, an RBI double, an RBI ground ball (error), an RBI triple, an RBI groundout and two errors (6-5).
"We have three seniors right now and a lot of underclassmen," Dahl said regarding the miscues. "It's difficult to throw a bunch of players who've barely practiced out there, so I think we did exceptionally well. I do think we can cut down on our infield mistakes, and we'll get there."
Glen Rose regained control in the bottom of the sixth when leadoff Sydney Stegint reached on an error to set the stage for a Harton single, a Calvert two-RBI double past the left fielder, a Dahl single, a Morales RBI sac fly and an Armstrong RBI sac bunt (10-5).
"It's always good to hit the ball as the pitcher," Miller said. "Maybe with some of the runs our fielding mistakes allowed, Madison got them back at the plate."
Though Godley kept fighting and cut the lead to 10-7 in the seventh with a single, an RBI single and an error, Calvert registered her seventh and eighth defensive outs to seal the deal.
The Lady Tigers will hit the road on Friday for a 7 p.m. matchup against Dublin.
"Getting this win was our first goal, and it's really about getting better everyday - stacking good practices on good practices as we prepare for Dublin," Miller said.