PLAINVILLE - It hasnâ€™t exactly been the start to the season the Plainville softball team was looking for early on.
The Blue Devils are out to just 3-5 with four of those losses being by eight runs or more. But thatâ€™s also to be expected for a Blue Devils team in rebuilding mode.
Of the 16 players on the roster, 11 of which are sophomores or freshmen. There are no seniors.
But one of the things head coach Scott Marcucio said the team has had trouble with so far, as a result of the younger players still learning to play at the varsity level, is getting solid contact on the ball and being able to drive runners in.
â€śWeâ€™re not making good swings and getting good contact yet,â€ť Marcucio said. â€śWeâ€™re working our way towards it but weâ€™re not where we need to be yet obviously. Itâ€™s baby steps but itâ€™s something weâ€™re struggling with right now.â€ť
The young squad did show some fight in its latest loss to Innovation on Wednesday.
Down 6-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Blue Devils scored two runs to tie the game and force extra innings. The Ravens ended up losing in the eighth, but it was the first time all year they showed the ability to fight back.
The inexperience in the field, however, shined through when the mishaps in the field began to add up. Of the seven runs freshman Kayla Wisz gave up against Innovation, only three were earned.
â€śWe have a young team and itâ€™s tough for them to think about it as the game is going on,â€ť Marcucio said. â€śI tell them all of these little things add up. Itâ€™s not always in bunches, which is good. But we make one mistake here and one mistake there, those things add up.â€ť
One player to keep an eye on going forward is freshman Annie Roux.
Despite being in her rookie season, Roux has already made her mark. She had three hits and three RBI against Innovation, along with making several great plays in the outfield, something Marcucio highlighted after the game.
But despite already solidifying herself as a go-to player on the team, Roux doesnâ€™t put any added pressure on herself.
â€śHonestly, the game just comes natural to me,â€ť Roux said.
Wisz, another freshman, is another bright spot for the Blue Devils.
She is not only a go-to from the pitching circle, but she is also the leadoff hitter. On Tuesday, she scored twice and collected three hits of her own.
Marcucio understands the team is young and will make mistakes. But he is happy with the growth they have made so far, especially their willingness to fight to the last out on Tuesday.
â€śThey never tucked their tails,â€ť Marcucio said. â€śThey stayed up and remained positive. Weâ€™re hanging our hat on that right now.â€ť
Plainville may be in rebuilding mode this season, but the future looks bright for the team. With a ton of young talent that has already taken strides this year, the Blue Devils could be a tough opponent for plenty of teams going forward.
Tyler Roaix can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org