Enloe softball coach Harry Fields didn’t get on his players too much after the Eagles dropped an 11-0 season opener to Rolesville at home Monday.
Instead, he praised the team for the strides they’ve made with limited practice and field time.
“The game today was the first time these girls have set foot on this infield,” Fields said. “The first time.”
With only two players returning to their positions from last season, a sophomore catcher and pitcher, and a freshman at third, Fields expects there to be a learning curve.
The only disappointment, he said, was knowing that more practice time could have given the team a chance to go over certain game situations.
“I was disappointed because I know the errors the girls made I could have helped them not make those errors,” Fields said. “They had things happened that I could have possibly prevented from happening.”
Already he has seen the young team’s ability to pick up on ideas after seeing them in real time. When the Eagles allowed a Rolesville runner to make it safely back to first base after being stranded between first and second early in the game, Fields called for a timeout.
He walked out on the field and discussed the scenario with his infielders.
“We needed to talk about it because we haven’t had a chance to practice it,” Fields said.
The next time a Rolesville runner ventured too far off base Monday, Enloe came away with the tag and out at third. It was something the Eagles had seen during a bunt game they played inside the gym while weather kept them off of the field.
“That scenario happened in the (bunt) game, and (freshman My-Lin Kennedy) freaked, stopped and threw the ball late to first,” Fields said.
Fields stopped the practice and talked it over with the freshman.
“I told her, ‘At least at some point look to the girl at third. If nothing else, pump hard and she’s going to go,’ which is exactly what happened today. ... So she tagged her and got her,” Fields said.
“I started her at third today, a freshman. All I had to do was tell her once, and she got it. That’s why she was at third today. She made a couple of errors, but I told her something and she didn’t make the same error twice in practice and in the game.”
As the Eagles get into Cap Eight conference play and see more field time, Fields looks to see the team continue to grow. Enloe is scheduled to play at Wakefield on Tuesday.