The Marceline softball program made short work of Putnam County in its home opener on Monday evening, defeating the Lady Midgets 16-6 in a game that was halted in the fifth inning due to mercy rule.
The Tigers improve to 1-1 on the season after dropping the season opener to Penney in heartbreaking walk-off fashion. Putnam suffered its first defeat in four games.
The Tigers came out hot, posting six runs in the opening inning and five more in the second. Marceline finished the game with 15 total hits to Putnam County's six.
"They came out, they were locked in and they put the ball in play early and often," Putnam County coach Aaron Fitzpatrick offered. "Give Marceline some credit, because they put pressure on us and took advantage of some opportunities that they earned. We'll see Marceline hopefully later on this year."
The Midgets didn't manage to cross a runner until the fifth inning, when Marceline's defensive lapses allowed the floodgates to open for Putnam County. The Tigers committed five errors in that frame, and Putnam County crossed all six of its runs in the top of the fifth before Marceline scored a pair in the bottom of the inning to end the game early.
Through four innings, however, the Tigers looked like the team that won a district championship in the 2016 season.
"I located the ball well, I was more focused and I've had more practice," junior pitcher Maycee Edgar said of her performance in comparison to last Wednesday's loss in Hamilton.
Third baseman Kenzie Stahl shined in the bounce-back victory, posting a 4-4 outing including a big fly in the first inning following an Abbey Kussman walk. Designated player Savanna Kelly roped another one over the wall a few at-bats later in the same inning.
Though the Tigers walked away from their home opener with a convincing victory, coach Todd Lowther admitted that his club has a great many improvements to make before it is in true mid-season form.
"We've got to focus in and make the plays that we can make," Lowther said in reference to that fifth inning. "We had some errors that hurt us a little bit, but it's nice to get a win after the tough loss the other night. Offensively, we were a little more locked in tonight, we had better at-bats, and the bottom of the order stepped up for us."
Marceline travels to La Plata on Thursday. Saturday, the Tigers travel to Putnam to compete in the Midgets' eight-team tournament.