By Tommie Kendall
After opening the season with three losses, the Eminence softball team got on the winning side of things in a big way Saturday afternoon, easily rolling past Caverna High School, 19-0.
The Lady Warriors - led at the plate by Jessica Adams, Candace Wells and Kassidy Dees, and from the pitcher's circle by Brenna Raisor - wasted no time in putting away Caverna. They ended the game with their biggest win since a 22-0 rout over Evangel Christian on April 1, 2003. It's been more than five years since Eminence celebrated a larger margin of victory, and it couldn't have come at a better time.
"I was very excited to get that first win," Eminence coach Dewayne Douglas said afterwards. "I'm really proud of this group of players. We had some girls come through for us, and as a team, we're starting to hit the ball much better."
Raisor, just a seventh grader, gave Eminence a big lift from the mound. The youngster got her first varsity start and held Caverna scoreless. With Caverna's youth, much like Eminence, Douglas decided to go with Raisor instead of Dees or Ashley Wilson - both seniors.
"I thought Raisor pitched very well," Douglas said. "She threw a lot of strikes and didn't walk many batters. It was a good game for her."
The win came on the heals off losses to Shelby County (16-0), Gallatin County (21-0) and Frankfort (14-0). It was the first time this season the Lady Warriors had crossed home plate, and they did it 19 times.
"The girls are getting better than they were two weeks ago, and in another two weeks I think they will be better than they are now," Douglas said of his improving squad. "It's a work in progress."
Following the Caverna win, the Lady Warriors were back in action against Bethlehem in a home double-header. The two teams played even for most of the seven innings, but Bethlehem eventually pulled away to a 16-9 victory.
After a back-and-forth five innings, the score was 7-6 Bethlehem.
"We made some errors late in the game and couldn't come out on top," Douglas said. "Our team never gave up though, and continued to play hard until the end."
The way the Eminence players reacted after the loss showed the attitude they have developed during the last week. Apparently, the Caverna win pointed them in the right direction.
"One of the things I was very excited to see was our players were very disappointed after the Bethlehem loss," Douglas said. "They knew they could win that game. I always talk about not wanting to be mediocre, and they didn't want to be anymore. Now, we just have to get that killer instinct."
The Lady Warriors will take their 1-4 record to Evangel Christian this Wednesday. Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m.
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