FREMONT – While Sarrah Ottney saw what looked like an entirely different team than the one she saw just 48 hours earlier, the team Marc Marshall saw looked hauntingly familiar.
The coaches of the St. Joseph Central Catholic and Clyde softball teams, respectively, Ottney and Marshall were each looking for their teams to limit the miscues that cost them in the opening week of the season.
Though Ottney’s Crimson Streaks played without error Monday afternoon, Marshall’s Fliers continued to battle their defensive struggles as SJCC picked up its first win of the season in a 4-2 victory over Clyde.
“We came out a little bit early today and worked on some things and talked about fundamentals,” Ottney said. “From the minute they showed up before the game, I could tell it was a different team, mindset-wise, and it translated to how they played defense today.”
SJCC (1-2) dropped its first two games of the season Saturday — the first of which saw the Crimson Streaks commit 11 errors in a 10-3 loss to River Valley. The Crimson Streaks arrived early Monday for extra pregame and the attention to detail paid off.
“They weren’t nervous,” Ottney said. “The first-game jitters were gone, they were on their home field. I think they had some confidence going into today.”
Clyde, on the other hand, which surrendered seven errors in its first two games of the season, had trouble making routine plays, as throws to first base struggled to hit the mark. The Fliers (0-3) made three errors leading to three of SJCC’s runs being unearned.
“If you don’t field it and throw it, you have four errors and give up unearned runs, and don’t have hits at key times, you lose,” Marshall said. “That’s the story of our season right now.”
Clyde held a 1-0 lead after the top of the first inning, but SJCC took the lead in the bottom of the third. With runners on first and second base, back-to-back errors on balls hit by Callie Kelbley and Dani Baez lead to a pair of Crimson Streak runs.
The next inning Josie Weickert reached base when she reached safely on a sacrifice bunt thanks to a Clyde throw to first gone high. Audra Zetzer and Briggs Wonderly then drove in Adrienne Wehring and Weickert for a 4-1 lead.
While Clyde put together a couple hits in the top of the seventh and scored a run to climb within two, the Fliers’ defensive lapses dug too deep a hole.
“One thing I tell them all the time is, ‘Nothing good can happen if you don’t put the ball in play,'” Ottney said. “If you put the ball in play, it’s a chance. Make them make a play. Make them get you out.”
Be Reardon got the win for SJCC, allowing six hits and one walks with four strikeouts. Adrianna Sanchez allowed just one earned run on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts.