LAUREL HILL — Two games into the 2014 season Laurel Hill School softball Coach Scott Varnum is still trying to get his players plucked into the right positions.
As has been the case with many local teams, cold and rainy weather has cut into practice and game time for the Hoboes. Varnum is confident given time the Laurel Hill team will come together.
Friday night the Hoboes took the field against District 1-1A foe Central and their inexperience was on display as the Jaguars beat Laurel Hill 12-5.
"We didn't hit the ball early," Varnum said. "I didn't feel like we were seeing the ball. We got a little confidence and made a game of it when we started hitting the ball late (in the game).
"I saw a lot of good things, but we have to minimize our errors."
Jaguar starting pitcher Arielle Harris held the Hoboes hitless through three innings before suffering an injury as she attempted to score in the top of the fourth.
With Harris in control in the circle the Jaguars built an insurmountable lead with six runs in the second inning.
Central had four hits in the inning, but the Jaguars didn't exactly rip the cover off the ball. One of the hits was a bunt single and two were short pop flies that fell between the Hobo infielders and outfielders. Two Jaguar batters also walked in the big inning.
Central scored three more runs in the fourth inning, which ended with Harris being thrown out at home by Hobo left fielder Morgan Meeks as catcher Ashley Hatfield tagged her out.
With Harris out of the game the Hoboes were able to mount an offense against Kira Holley.
Laurel Hill (0-2, 0-1) added four runs in the fifth inning.
Kae Shipman got things started with a one-out single. By the time the inning was over Shipman had scored along with Hannah Price, Gordon and Hatfield.
Hatfield's two run single was the big blow of the inning.
Central answered the Hobo rally with three runs in the sixth to push the lead to seven as the Jaguars closed on the win.
Lauren Gordon led off the bottom of the fourth with the first Laurel Hill hit. Gordon later scored the first Laurel Hill run on an illegal pitch by Holley
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.