By Andrew Garda
The Montclair High School Varsity softball team got roughed up by Livingston Monday night, losing their season opener by a score of 8-0. The Lancers tagged Mountie starting pitcher Jessica Masur for two runs in the first inning and never looked back as they cruised to their first victory of the season.
“I thought Jess pitched well,” Coach Valerie Tauriello said after the game. “She had to find the empty spots here and there, but [Livingston is] a very good hitting team.
The Mounties had four errors on the day, and that, coupled with some bad throws, contributed to their woes as well.
“In order for us to make the outs, we have to field the ball. We didn’t do that today,” Tauriello said.
At the plate, the Mounties struggled to connect with the ball, scraping together just two hits (a single by right fielder Seniah Thompson in the third and a double by second baseman Grace Chellius in the fourth) through seven innings and failing to score a run. They were struck out six times and often looked too tentative at the plate.
Tauriello agrees. “They were very indecisive at the plate today.”
Even when they managed to put the bat on the ball, the Mounties seemed to be their own worst enemy. At one point, Masur knocked the ball into the outfield for an easy single, but decided to try and stretch her hit into a double. The Livingston right fielder easily threw her out at second base.
“[Masur] decides to try and take a double on what should have been a single for us. She’s not fast runner and I really don’t want my pitcher sliding into second base.”
When a team is struggling, they can begin to both over think things at the plate and then try to do too much on the basepaths. That was definitely a factor on Monday.
The Mounties have to have a short memory as, if the weather holds, they travel to face a tough Demarest team.
“Hopefully that was just first game jitters and we got it all out,” Tauriello said.
FOR MORE ON THE START OF THE 2017 MHS SOFTBALL SEASON AND A LOOK FORWARD, SEE THURSDAY’S PRINT EDITION