WENDELL — For the Corinth Holders softball team, its destiny in the 2013 season is in its hands. For Smithfield-Selma, destiny is the last thing the Spartans are worried about - at least for now.
The worlds of both squads collided Thursday afternoon at the Corinth Holders softball diamond, with both teams learning a little bit more of what both need to do in order to be successful this season.
“We control our own destiny this year,” said Corinth Holders coach Don Andrews. “And we still have a lot of things to improve on. The thing we are working on the hardest right now is trying to become a complete unit.
“Everyone has been away from softball for the past year, playing volleyball and basketball - now we are trying to get everybody in sync - that’s the biggest thing right now.”
For practical purposes, the Pirates rolled to a 19-0, four-inning victory over the Spartans.
Pirates coach Don Andrews remembered his players were going through two years ago what the Spartans are currently experiencing - trying to focus on the fundamentals while attempting to build a program.
It was only two years ago when the Pirates, trying to be competitive, found themselves on the short end of embarrassing scores.
After an 11-run first inning by the Pirates, Andrews worked to keep his team focused on some of the finer points of the game.
He even took time to coach base-runners on how to react to sacrifice fly situations - not to watch the ball in flight before tagging up at third, rather to focus on the plate, and listen to his instructions from the third-base coaches box.
Smithfield-Selma coach Britney Smith’s biggest hurdle isn’t getting the team in sync, as much as it is getting them to handle the fundamentals of the game - fielding, pitching, hitting and base-running.
The lessons are long and hard, and while the results are not showing on the scoreboard, or in wins - Smith feels her girls are coming along.
“They (Spartans) are young girls,” Smith said. “They are building on their fundamentals and adapting to the rules. It’s a matter of understanding what they are doing - handling fly balls, pop ups, swinging the bat, running the bases.
“They realize if they make a mistake, that it is going to happen we work to correct that on the next play.”
Smith said constant, positive reinforcement when mistakes are made helps her players keep their heads up.
And despite some very long innings - the 11-run first by the Pirates, and a 12-run second by Cleveland in their season opener, Smith said her girls keep their girls heads up.
”I think they have it instilled in their minds, regardless of what happens, they are going to work through it,” Smith said. “I wish better for them. I would like to see them be more successful, have a lot of quicker innings and better rallies at the plate.”
Rallies at the plate were not a problem for the Pirates.
Kelsie Hocutt belted home runs in both of her first-inning plate appearances, driving in five runs. Holly Price was 2-for-3,
Kayla Meares tripled and Holly Price and Kayla Narron both doubled in a 14-hit attack.
“We are actually behind defensively and offensively,” Andrews said. “If we can get some consistent, decent weather so we can get some consistent practice tie on the field, we can improve.
“That’s the thing that has hurt us this year. This is our last year in the 2A ranks, and we feel we have a good shot at being right up there, challenging North Johnston for the (Northern Carolina 2A) conference title.”