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Hampton softball scores section win after tough start

Louis Raggiunti | Pine Creek Journal - Hampton infielder Samantha Cutter heads to first base.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Louis Raggiunti  |  Pine Creek Journal</em></div>Hampton infielder Samantha Cutter heads to first base.
Louis Raggiunti | Pine Creek Journal - Hampton second baseman Megan Thorton goes for a tag against Highlands.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Louis Raggiunti  |  Pine Creek Journal</em></div>Hampton second baseman Megan Thorton goes for a tag against Highlands.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
 

The beginning to the season has been a bit of a rough go for the Hampton softball team.

A couple of defensive breakdowns here or there had the team off to an 0-3 start.

“Our defense has let us down a little,” Hampton coach Ron Fedell said.

“We had seven errors against Indiana (in a 12-7 loss), and we gave three extra outs to Mars (in an 8-7 loss). Then it happened again against Kittanning. We spotted Kittanning a 5-0 lead but rallied to have a chance to win in the bottom of the seventh inning.”

Hampton trailed, 5-3, at that point, and with a runner on first, a line-drive was smacked at the pitcher. Unfortunately for Hampton, that ball was caught. That meant that Breanna Lent's hit in the next at-bat was not as valuable as it could have been, and the rally fizzled to leave the final score 5-3.

“Softball is a game of inches,” Fedell said.

“And unfortunately, the inches have not gone our way.”

It appeared things still were working against Hampton when it faced Knoch.

Hampton again surrendered a 5-0 lead, but this time the team was able to rally with five unanswered runs in the top of the seventh for an 8-6 win. Claire Welka picked up the victory, and Jocelyn White hit a double to help the bats come alive for Hampton.

“Usually it takes our hitting a while to come around, and our fielding has to get better,” Fedell said.

“My goal right now is to stay positive and make sure the kids stay positive, too.”

The first win of the season — a section victory — could be a start.

Hampton will hit the road for a rematch with Indiana at 3:30 p.m. today, Thursday.

The team is scheduled to play North Hills at McIntyre Field on Friday, then resume section play on April 23, when Mars visits at 3:45.

Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or jeclark@tribweb.com.

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