Inexperience and the absence of regular starting pitcher, junior Natalie Monge, have been the mark of the Sedona Red Rock High School softball team’s season so far. Most recently, it lost 18-1 in five innings at Kingman Academy High School on Thursday, March 9.
Underclassmen who are still learning the game populate the lineup for the Scorpions [1-3], but normally produce a bit more offensively.
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“They [the Tigers] were really solid all around,” Scorpions head coach Ethan Hartz said. “Their defense was good and ours wasn’t, that’s what it really came down to.”
With Monge unavailable until after spring break, inexperienced freshman Natalie Montgomery has continued to toss. Senior Courtney Chalmers has filled in at catcher during sophomore Desiray Davis’ absence.
“She’s [Montgomery] still working on her consistency in the strike zone,” Hartz said. “I think she did fine. It takes a lot of experience in-game to really master pitching. She hasn’t had that experience, so it’s really valuable.”
Kingman Academy used a duo of pitchers, one right-handed and one left-handed against Red Rock. Tiger junior Maryssa Edwards and freshman Trinity Player each gave up one hit and struck out three.
Player gave up the lone run, which came in the top of the fifth inning. Hartz said that his team could have scored more in the inning, but could not put together timely hits.
The Tigers scored eight runs in the first inning.
“It did seem like they were a little flat coming out of the gate, which I think comes with being a young team,” Hartz said.
Kingman Academy scored two in the second, five in the third and three more in the fourth.
The Scorpions next play at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, in its Central Region debut against visiting Paradise Honors High School, when both Monge and Davis will make their return to the lineup.
During spring break, Hartz will focus most of the team’s work on defense.
“I’ve been relatively happy with at bats,” Hartz said. “We’re going to work on both the physical fielding and throwing of the ball and learning the situations. That’s my biggest concern right now.”