The Smyrna High School softball team snapped a five-game losing streak Friday with a 14-8 win over Archmere in front of a home crowd.
The win improved Smyrna to 3-7 on the season with eight games left to turn their season around.
Prior to Friday's game, the Eagles were banged around in loses to Milford, Polytech, Delmar and Sussex Tech. Two of the games in the five-game losing streak came against Sussex Tech.
But the Eagles were still confident going against Archmere as the Auks were winless at 0-8 coming into the game.
"We play them every year," assistant coach Nicki Shirey said after the win. "So we knew we could be competitive with them. It's always a good game."
Shirey said the keys to the win were hits and runs. The team knew it had to score a lot of runs to win the game. Once the game was over, Shirey said it felt really good to get the victory.
"We put in some new players today to see how they could do and they all stepped up and did their job," Shirey said.
The game was relatively close for the first few innings with Archmere answering at the plate every time Smyrna scored a few runs. The Eagles broke out for four more runs in the fourth inning giving Smyrna a 12-7 lead and they never looked back.
Catcher Katelynn Norvell had a big game for the Eagles going 3-for-3 with two RBIS and a two-run homerun. Karen Cimaglia scored three runs for Smyrna while Sierra Watkins, Jennifer Gray and Cayla Carter scored two runs each.
Coming into the game, Norvell thought the players needed to come together as a team, work together and make sure they communicated a lot during the game. Norvell said it was also important for the players to not go up to bat nervous and instead for them to be confident in themselves.
"It feels good coming together as a team," Norvell said. "Hopefully we can pull through with the rest of the season."
One of the hang ups for the Eagles this season has been the injuries to their pitching staff. Last year's starting pitcher sophomore Sydney Botsch has yet to pitch this season due to an injury. Filling in on the mound this year was freshman Madelynne Rodriguez until she was pulled due to an injury. Senior Ariel Bilbrough has pitched the past few games. Shirey said the injuries to the pitchers have hurt the team.
"Our pitcher was playing hurt and I think she probably prolonged letting us know how bad it was," Shirey said. "Once we realized how bad it was, we had to pull her. Even though Ariel's done a great job, it's been a year since she's pitched. Not being strong on the mound right now is hurting us."
Page 2 of 2 - With quite a few games left in the season, Shirey hopes the Eagles will keep the momentum from Friday's win going into the next few weeks.
Email Jennifer Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.