Fort Mill Times

Early season struggles have Falcons looking for answers

Nation Ford’s Sabrina Johnson takes a pitch to opposite field against Chester.
Nation Ford’s Sabrina Johnson takes a pitch to opposite field against Chester.

Sitting at 5-6 on the season, the Nation Ford Falcons softball team isn’t where it wants to be.

The team started off well, earning a 3-1 record after a good showing at the Pee Dee Pitch Off, but then dropped off significantly, losing five of their last six games. the team did end the week on a high note by beating York 9-5.

Nation Ford has a 2-2 record in Region III-4A play and lost to rivals Fort Mill 6-1 earlier in the week and fell apart against Chester, losing 9-8 after leading 7-1. The Falcons were six outs away from victory when junior pitcher Sarah Riehle started struggling and was taken out after allowing two singles and a walk. Two errors by the Falcons contributed to the collapse.

All five batters Riehle faced in the sixth inning scored to make the score 7-6. Freshman reliever Mackenzie Gaston came in to try and stop the bleeding, but allowed five more hits and two more runs before Nation Ford could get out of the inning.

“We just can’t play seven innings of ball,” said head coach Michael Kidd.

“We play five and-a-half or six innings. It’s about consistency and that is something we don’t have right now. When one inning goes bad, it (all) goes bad. We have to stay focused for all seven innings, and that is something we can’t teach.”

Nation Ford started off well, scoring three runs on four hits in the second inning and adding four runs on four hits in the fourth. Offensively, the Falcons were led by junior Darby Trull, who went 3-4 with an RBI and sophomore Sabrina Johnson, who went 2-3 with a double.

Freshman Carley Gardner went 2-4 with an RBI and senior Bree Tremblay went 1-3 with two RBI for Nation Ford.

The road doesn’t get any easier for Nation Ford, but it is still in the thick of things in Region III-4A. Up next is a game against defending state champion Clover and then a trip to Summerville for a tournament over spring break.

Mac Banks: mbanks@comporium.net, @MacBanksFM

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