Southwest opened their varsity softball season with a loss at home to Meadville, 14-2. A combination of first-game jitters from a very young Southwest squad and some good hitting from the Eagles proved too much for the Wildcats to overcome.
It was the third inning before Southwest scored, after leadoff batter Erin Christopher gained first when her infield fly was allowed to hit dirt, gained second on a passed ball and was pushed to third by Briana Lewis' grounder. An RBI single from Haliey Cheeney brought home the run, and Meadville led 6-1 after three.
Southwest added one more run in the fourth, when Sydnee Rounkles was hit by Eagle hurler Tori Baker to start the inning and Rounkles stole second and home with her aggressive base running before Baker struck out two to end the inning.
Meadville held Southwest the rest of the way and cruised to the finish.
Baker got the win for Meadville, based on three strikeouts, and did not issue a walk. Sydnie Shirley took the loss, with five strikeouts and eight walks. Erin Shiflett led the Eagle offense with two home runs, and Haley Fitzpatrick blasted a deep triple and a double to help the cause. For Southwest, Syd Shirley and Erin Christopher where the only Wildcats to have hits.
"The girls played fairly tentative tonight, and showed a few nerves, but I was real proud of their efforts. They made some good plays, and I believe that once they relax, they will only get better and better," said Southwest's head coach Marj Locker.
The varsity contest was followed by a junior varsity game that ended in a 13-12 win for Southwest. Haylee Johnson led the Southwest offense with a home run. Whitney Rounkles and Maritza Chavez each had two hits apiece. Johnson also pitched the win.