WINTHROP – It was the fourth game of the season for the Jay softball team Tuesday, but it was almost like a debut for the Tigers.
Jay had played two games last week without three regulars and had a makeup game Tuesday after those regulars had just gotten back from a trip to Mexico.
It wasn’t until Wednesday’s 19-4 win at Winthrop that the Tigers’ lineup was restored, rested and ready.
“It’s like a new beginning,” said sophomore Tasha Hebert.
Hebert had three hits and drove in three runs. Kaylie DeMillo drove in three with two hits, and Brittany Frailey plated a pair.
Jay dropped its first three games of the season. The first two came without pitcher Felicia Floyd and a juggled lineup with two other regulars out.
“We only had three people in position,” said Jay coach Robin Roberts. “Six were out of position.”
Floyd scattered five hits and walked just four batters to earn the victory. “A big thing was Felicia cut down on her walks,” said Roberts. “The first game she had eight walks.”
Though the Tigers have just a handful of upperclassmen, the Ramblers (0-2) are more inexperienced with just four upperclassmen.
“Because we’re young, we’re still learning,” said first-year coach Lisa Hasch. “We have an issue with staying focused for seven innings. We got to four, and we were good but after four …
“It’s a lot of thinking for them, and they get tired and they’re not really sure what to do, but they’re working hard.”
Jay had built an early 2-0 lead when DeMillo and Floyd scored on wild pitches in the first inning, but Winthrop came back and took a 3-2 lead. Khasandra Greenleaf, Emily Vickerson and Brittany Gaudet all scored on wild pitches in the second. Jay tied it in the third on a RBI single by Frailey. Hebert followed with a two-run single, and Desiree Castonguay scored on a Emily Cloutier fielder’s choice. “I hit pretty well today,” said Hebert. “The first couple of games I didn’t hit to well. I’ve improved a lot since last season.”
Hebert drove in another run in the fifth for a 7-3 lead, but Winthrop’s Jamie Michaud scored on an error to keep the Ramblers close. Base running mistakes and fielding miscues allowed Jay to open up the lead in the sixth and seventh.
“We have a lot of girls that haven’t played where they’re playing,” said Hasch. “They’re new to positions and new to softball. It will come. The more they play the more mental edge they’ll have.”
DeMillo singled in a run in the sixth and scored on a Frailey ground out. DeMillo added a two-run triple in the seventh as the Tigers scored 10 runs.