PLAINVILLE - One of the mottos for Scott Marcusioâ€™s Plainville softball team this season is, â€śJust move forward.â€ť
â€śEvery dayâ€™s a new day,â€ť the Blue Devils head coach said. â€śWe just look to get better and take a step forward every day.â€ť
After a 23-3 loss to CCC foe Bristol Eastern on Wednesday at home, the Blue Devils are certainly looking to stick to that model of thinking.
â€śItâ€™s all about staying even-keeled,â€ť Marcusio said. â€śThey need to realize youâ€™re gonna face really good teams and teams youâ€™re gonna be really competitive with. No matter who youâ€™re playing, just focus on trying your best and focus on things we can control. [Bristol Eastern was] hitting the ball all over the field, and we fielded the ball cleanly so thatâ€™s a positive.â€ť
With a relatively young team that features just two senior starters, the Blue Devils (1-1) are hoping Wednesdayâ€™s outcome will prove to be an anomaly - that the big loss was a product of squaring off with a dominant, two-time All-State pitcher (Erin Girard) and an offense that has been on fire to start the season (the Lancers have scored 40 runs on 40 hits thus far).
â€śWe knew [Girardâ€™s] gonna bring it, and she did,â€ť Marcusio said. â€śWe were hoping to do a little better, but it is what it is. We just wanted to go in and do our best. Overall, as long as the effort level was up for the whole game Iâ€™m happy. Our effort and energy were at a high level [Wednesday] so thatâ€™s the positive to take out along with the couple hits and the home run.â€ť
Thatâ€™s something Marcusio was able to pinpoint as a positive on Wednesday. Despite losing 19-0, in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Blue Devil players were still up on the fence, loud and energetic to give their teammates at the plate some encouragement.
â€śThey were staying behind each other. Itâ€™s one of those games where you have to keep on pushing,â€ť Marcusio said. â€śI told the girls to keep your heads up and stay positive and stay energetic, and they did that. We got a couple good hits early in the game - Mackenzie Alvarado got a good hit for us and obviously Annie [Roux] hit that home run.â€ť
Roux provided the highlight of the day for Plainville. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, the sophomore center fielder turned on a 2-1 fastball, crushing a line drive and sending the ball over the left field fence for a two-run home run.
It provided an exclamation mark to an otherwise sour day that Marcusio and company are hoping will be a springboard for the rest of the week.
â€śAnnieâ€™s a strong hitter,â€ť Marcusio said. â€śItâ€™s really good for us. Itâ€™s something positive to carry over. Obviously, the girls are happy we got a good hit and scored some runs. We were positive the whole game, but being positive for something as momentous as a home run, it brought their spirits up quite a bit even though we were down by  runs.
Still, Marcusio believes the game was a one-off, and Mondayâ€™s season-opening win over Innovation will be more of a harbinger of positives to come.
â€ś[Wednesday] we just kind of ran into a buzzsaw,â€ť Marcusio said. â€śItâ€™s one of those games you just try to play as clean as you can. You get through, and then you look to the next day. Thatâ€™s what weâ€™re doing. I told them [against Bristol Central] is a big bounce-back game for us. We wanna play as well as we can again. [Wednesday] is behind us.â€ť
Zack Carpenter can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or email@example.com