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Caledonia scores big in win vs. Starkville

 

David Miller

 

STARKVILLE -- Two softball teams coming off winless weekends met Tuesday looking for a much-needed win.  

 

Caledonia High School made it happen with a 15-2 victory against Starkville High. The Lady Confederates had an offensive punch they didn''t see in losses to Saltillo and Hamilton on Friday in which they had scored just two runs. 

 

Caledonia (1-2) led 2-1 lead after the second inning, added one run in the third, and broke the game open with six runs in the fourth. 

 

"I thought we did well with the small ball," Caledonia coach Robin Elmore said. "We struggled at times getting our bunts down (Friday), but it worked tonight. We got them down when we needed them to, and we got some throwing errors." 

 

Starkville''s 16 errors had just as much to do with the lopsided score as Caledonia''s six hits.  

 

The Lady Yellow Jackets (0-3) have given up 49 runs in three games. 

 

Up until Tuesday, Starkville had proven it could score after posting 18 runs against Eupora and Winona. But having to chase a lead caught up with it against Caledonia, as Jonissa Buchanan and Jadee Sexton registered the team''s only hits.  

 

Starkville coach Mimi Milling lamented the disappointing loss in the home opener. 

 

"We''re a good team, and we just don''t show it when we come out to play," Milling said. "We practice great. We know what to do. We just get out here, and it''s like we freeze. Every time they make a mistake, they put their heads down. That''s our biggest problem." 

 

Milling''s disappointment over a team she has hailed as the most athletic she''s had at Starkville spawned a blunt assessment on the state of the Lady Jackets. 

 

"(Coaches) hear everything the fans say," Milling said. "We hear everything the parents say. And we hear the comments in the dugout. But it always falls on the coach''s shoulders. It''s always the coach''s fault. I can lead them to water but I can''t make them drink it. I can each them how to hit and teach them the tricks, but there''s only so much I can do. There really is." 

 

Caledonia received a much-needed lift ahead of its game Thursday at New Hope.  

 

Starting pitcher Cara Hopper had 10 strikeouts and earned the win, while Blaire Ruth had five strikeouts in relief. 

 

"They just basically were hitting their spots and throwing a little change in there," Elmore said. "We were kind of changing speeds. I thought Cara, my starter, did real well after she got warmed up. Sometimes she''s a little bit slow getting warmed up, but when she does she starts hitting spots and throwing the ball real well. Her change was working real good. I was pleased at both of them." 

 

Starkville returns to the field Friday at Ackerman.

 

 

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