Western Hills is expected to have a strong season.
But coach Jeff Pritchett knows it may take some time.
“Expectations are high,” Pritchett said. “But it’s only March.”
WHHS struggled to hit the ball and couldn’t overcome poor defense in its home opener, losing 11-1 in five innings to state-ranked Scott County Tuesday night at WHHS.
“We have a talented bunch of kids; I feel confident we can put 15, 16 kids in a varsity game and not miss a beat,” said Pritchett, whose team has just two seniors on its roster.
“It’s going to take us awhile to hit our stride. We play some of the most talented teams in the state of Kentucky right off the bat, and if you don’t execute and play error-free softball stuff like this can happen.”
The Lady Wolverines (0-2) recorded just three hits — two from junior lead-off hitter Destiny Hyatt — and had six errors. They had back-to-back miscues to start the third that led to senior Marlee Tevis’ three-run homer and sparked a seven-run inning for the Lady Cardinals (2-0), who are ranked seventh in the Kentucky Softball Coaches Association poll.
“Unfortunately we didn’t play error free or anything close to it tonight and it reflected in the score,” said Pritchett, whose team will play No. 1-ranked Greenwood this weekend and No. 3-ranked Owensboro Catholic April 3.
“The only good thing I can take out of it is that it’s March and everything we did wrong to take us out of the game is fixable.”
After junior Sam Luckett’s two-out, two run single in the fourth made it 11-0, WHHS finally scored. Junior Torey Hawkins led off the bottom half of the inning with a single then scored two batters later on sophomore Sierrah Miley’s groundout.
“When you’re playing a quality program like Scott County, sometimes when the wheels fall off it’s hard to get them back on track,” Pritchett said. “And unfortunately for us tonight the wheels fell off the track.”
Hawkins picked up the loss for the Lady Wolverines, allowing 11 runs — most of them unearned — on 11 hits in five innings.
Tevis started in the circle for the Lady Cardinals and gave up no runs and two hits in three innings with five strikeouts, And she got plenty of support at the plate with seven players recording hits and five driving in runs with Tevis and Luckett both getting two hits and three RBIs.
“We’ve played two quality opponents and we’re only going to get better from here,” Pritchett said.
“They know what we need to do to succeed. And to play in this region and in this district at a high level we have to continue to improve.”
WHHS hosts Manual Thursday at 5:30 p.m.