The Plains Hot-Springs softball team knew the opening portion of their season schedule against Thompson Falls and Florence would provide an immediate challenge.
The Trotters defeated a young, but rapidly improving Thompson Falls’ team 11-1 Tuesday afternoon at Plains High School and then were toppled by the defending Class B-C Florence-Carlton team 17-1 in their second game of the season at Florence High School’s softball diamonds Thursday afternoon.
“Our first week went OK but we just weren’t as sharp as we wanted to be,” Trotters’ assistant coach David Thompson said. “The girls were still able to do some good things (this week). We had some key hits. We played pretty good defense and (the first week) went pretty well for us.”
Despite losing 17-1 to the Class B-C defending MHSA champs, Thompson said he felt the game was a “good experience” for his team at this juncture of the season.
“This first week of games was a good wake up call and shows that we still have a lot of work to do,” Thompson said.
Florence, a top-tier contender in B-C, will be one of the top teams Plains-Hot Springs will face all season, according to Thompson.
“They are the defending state champions and they didn’t lose a lot players from last year,” Thompson said. “They still have their pitchers and they are going to be tough no matter who plays them (in Class B-C). We made way too many errors and they were able to take advantage of our mistakes. You pay for that when you make too many errors and allow too many base runners on.”
The Trotters will attempt to rebound strong from their first week games with a week that will include four softball games with Drummond, Loyola and new-comer to the softball world Manhattan Christian.
Last year against Loyola, the Trotters split with them, narrowly losing their Divisional game 11-10 that would have qualified them for the MHSA B-C state softball tournament. Thompson said Drummond has continued to build a young core of talent and anticipates a challenge from them.
“Drummond has worked on building a team for the last couple of years so it’s hard to say where they’ll be at the beginning of the season,” Thompson said. “We expect them to be improving all of the time and (against them) anything can happen.”
The Trotters will host Drummond at 1 p.m. at 3 p.m. at the Plains softball diamond and travel to play Loyola and Manhattan Christian in a double-header starting at 12 p.m. at Loyola High School’s softball diamonds.
After losing big to Eureka, Thompson said he felt this will be critical for his team to bounce back from adversity.
“We will need to rebound from Florence and get in there, start playing good ball and stay focused the whole game,” Thompson said.