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Saturday, March 30, 2013
The North Augusta High School varsity softball team is scuffling.
Following a clean sweep two weeks ago, the Jackets (7-5, 3-3 Region 5-AAAA) had a difficult week. It started out promisingly, with a 2-1 win over Dutch Fork. However, things went against the Jackets after that, dropping three in a row. Swansea beat the Jackets 4-2, Lexington won 1-0 and 6-5 in three consecutive nights.
"I think they're pressing, they know we had a big week, and they're just pressing," North Augusta head coach Derrick Quinn said. "The ball hasn't bounced our way. They're playing hard and not playing bad. This game will eat you alive if you let it and it's doing that a little bit right now."
In the game against Dutch Fork, Brooke Lavallee led off the eighth inning with an infield single. She stole second base and ended up on third following a sacrifice fly. Meghan Whitfield, who also won the game as a pitcher, then knocked her home. Whitfield also had 11 punchouts on the mound.
The game against Cardinal Newman, which was scheduled for last Saturday, has been postponed with Quinn guessing that it would be made up some time after spring break.
With the way that his team is slumping, Quinn feels as though the only way that things will be turned around will be through some growing up.
"I'm a firm believer that hitting is contagious," he said. "We made some good contact, both of my senior girls, Jacquie Hill and Sarah Fulmer, came out swinging (against Lexington). Sarah hit a two-run homer in the first inning, but it's going to have to be someone else. These young girls can't be young girls anymore. They have got to grow up for us to be successful.
"With seven first-year starters, including an eighth-grader and a ninth-grader, Quinn knows that his team doesn't have a wealth of experience.
Coming up the Jackets will play at home against White Knoll in a game that was to have happened on Tuesday and against Cardinal Newman on Wednesday. The team will round out its week with a road trip to South Aiken on Thursday.
"We can't afford the luxury of being young anymore," Quinn said. "Every game is tough, but it's not going to get any easier. They have to accept the challenge and try to get better, I guess. I don't know a better way to put it."