CRESTVIEW — There will be plenty of opportunities for Crestview High School's softball team to shine this year under first-year Coach Corey McSween.
But McSween’s first win will have to wait as the Bulldogs lost their season opener to Pace High School on Monday 4-3.
The Patriots rallied from a 3-0 deficit, scoring three runs in the sixth and one in the seventh.
“That’s a tough way to lose the first one, having a three-run lead,” McSween said. “But you have to give Pace credit. They came in the last two innings and swung it (the bat).
“I thought the girls played hard and they battled all of the game. As a coach, that’s what you ask for ... competitiveness.”
Lacy Boyd scored the game-winner on a Chelsea Patterson double.
Crestview (0-1) struck first with three runs on the bottom of the third inning.
Kayla Kelch reached on a Pace error to lead off the inning. Kelch stole second base with Kelsie Dardon at the plate.
Kelch took third on a Dardon single and scored the game’s first run on a Kristen Bufkin double that moved Dardon to third base.
It looked as if the Bulldogs were set up for a big inning with nobody out, a run in and two runners on base. But things quickly changed.
A Taylor Rolison hit scored Dardon, but Bufkin was thrown out trying to score on the play.
Rolison showed her aggressiveness on the base paths and took third as Bufkin was thrown out at the plate.
Rolison's heads-up base running paid off when she scored as Taylor Henderson grounded out to third base for the second out of the inning.
The inning ended with Kylene Day flying out to center.
With Rolison in control in the pitcher circle it looked as if the Bulldogs had the game well in hand.
Rolison only allowed two hits and a walk in the first five innings while striking out 10.
By the time the Patriots came to bat in the sixth inning they had begun to adjust to Rolison’s pitching.
The first three Pace batters in the sixth inning each got a hit. Patriot pitcher Peyton Carpenter helped her own cause with a 2-run double that scored Patterson and Chelsea Stotlman.
Stotlman scored on a Savanna Allen hit to tie the game at 3-3.
McSween didn’t have any second thoughts about leaving Rolison in the circle for the seventh inning.
“I felt like Taylor pitched a great game and it didn’t go our way tonight,” he said.
Rolison, who struck out 12 Patriot batters, led the Crestview offense with three hits.
Kelch, Dardon and Molly Woodward each had three hits for Crestview.
The Bulldogs return to action at 6 p.m. Thursday when they host Jay.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.