CARSON CITY — Carson City-Crystal’s softball team finished the season with an 18-21 record, but it could have been better had it not been for one big bugaboo that plagued the Eagles all season long.
“I think fielding errors,” coach Samantha Jensen said. “Overall, we were fairly consistent hitters. There were a few games where we didn’t come up with hits. Had we been able to come up with a few hits we might be able to squeak out a couple of wins. But overall fielding errors were a detracting thing for not winning games.”
Still, Jensen wasn’t going to dismiss being three games under .500 for the season.
“I’m happy with that, although it would have been nice to end the season at .500 or better,” she said.
Despite not being able to reach that mark, the Eagles were winners of a couple of tournaments during the season.
“We had a tournament with nine girls and girls playing out of position and we won the tournament,” she said. “They (CC-Crystal) had an attitude about them.”
Another Central Michigan Athletic Conference league game stood out also.
“I do remember one game against Portland St. Pats (Patrick),” Jensen said. “This is more of a player than anything. Katie Wilcox was pitching and it was raining hard and she had 19 walks that game. But the second game Katie came back and she pitched a great game, she hit a three-run homer, and we son the second game. It was a total turnaround.”
In fact, Wilcox stepped up when injuries hit the Eagles hard.
“With the amount of injuries we had this year, we lost Mackenzie Geister and Meriah Gallager early on,” Jensen said. “That put a lot of pressure on Katie Wilcox, and she came through. She cut down on her walks and picked up her pace.”
Mikayla Duflo moved up from JV when Gallagher went down and played shortstop in her place.
“She hit .300,” Jensen said of Duflo.” She had the third- or fourth- highest batting average on the team.
“Hailey Shinabarger came out of nowhere. She had three hits last season but she had 33 this year.”
In fact, just about every player had to step up, according to Jensen.
“There were a lot of girls that contributed. Everybody stepped up,” she said. “They weren’t like ‘Oh she’s down, let’s give up.’ They went at it.”
Almost everyone on the Eagles will be back next year, which has Jensen thinking big.
“Without saying too much I expect everyone to have a productive year,” she said. “In the past I made predictions about teams where we had great athletes, but we didn’t click. So instead of predicting how good the team is going to be I now sit back and let it play out.”
Next season CC-Crystal will be in the Mid-State Activities Conference, but Jensen thinks her team will be competitive there.
“We’re entering a new league, but with everybody coming back I feel we’ll be a force,” she said. “There are some tough teams in that league.”