Senior Danielle Styers can only throw out so many runners at the plate.
Pitchers Audrey Dufresne and Rachel Mobley — Davis High’s only two circle options — can only limit good-hitting opponents so much.
At some point, the Blue Devil softball team is going to have to generate some offense.
On Tuesday at home, another lackluster hitting performance cost DHS in a 5-1 loss to Sheldon.
With just one game left before Delta Valley Conference play begins Monday against Franklin, something has to change.
“We should be more confident and adjust quicker to the pitcher,” Styers said after the Devils (4-10) managed just two hits against the Huskies (6-2). “We seem to get really deep in the counts and that’s what’s getting us in trouble. We need to come out swinging.
“I want people to want to win, I think that might be an issue. We need to work on becoming more of a team. We just need to fix some things and hopefully it will all come together (when league play starts).”
Following a tough loss Monday at Del Oro — in which the locals managed just three hits — it looked for the early part of Tuesday’s outing that Davis was turning things around.
Styers led off the bottom of the first inning by reaching first on an error, then went to second on Kaitlyn Lagattuta’s groundout. When Emily Ginn followed with an RBI single, the Blue Devils had tied the game at 1-1.
Without knowing Ginn’s hit would be their last until the seventh inning, the Devils kept up the strong play as Dufresne put Sheldon down in the top of the second on just four pitches.
In the third, Styers threw out a Husky at the plate, her second straight game performing the feat.
“It’s the greatest feeling in the world, I love throwing someone out at home,” said the DHS center fielder. “It’s just kind of instinct. I’ve (played center field) since I was 8 … I don’t play any other outfield positions, center is my place.”
Sheldon, however, used a bloop single, a walk and another single to score two runs later in the inning, taking a lead it would not relinquish.
The Blue Devils — down 4-1 by that point — threatened in the bottom of the fourth as Ginn reached on an error and senior catcher Ashley Dufresne worked a walk. But three consecutive strikeouts killed the rally.
Sophomore Faith Harlan, who also made a nice catch in right field earlier in the contest, had the other Davis hit in the seventh inning, but nothing came of it.
“It’s frustrating,” said Devil coach Art Guerra. “I’m concerned but you just have to ride the roller coaster. (We) are too good of hitters for this to go on.”
The good news is DHS has a week planned that should rejuvenate the players for Monday’s DVC opener.
Before taking on Oak Ridge as part of a special Saturday event, Guerra told his girls to go enjoy themselves for the reminder of this spring break week.
“Let them go have fun, go to the beach, go fishing, I don’t care,” said the coach. “(I just want them to) go be kids … and get away from softball.”
Then, the Devils return to the diamond at 1 p.m. Saturday as part of Albie Cancer Awareness Day hosted by St. Francis.
The three-game slate features Pioneer vs. River City at 11 a.m., Davis/Oak Ridge and the Troubadours taking on Christian Brothers at 3 p.m. in an event that raises money for cancer charities.
“It’s a great tribute and organization,” Guerra said. “For me personally, my dad passed away from cancer so it’s really a big day. It brings back memories but … it’s just a great day. We’re very privileged and honored to be a part of it.
“And in my opinion, it’s six really good softball teams so you get to see a great day of softball.”
— Reach Chris Saur at [email protected] or 530-747-8049.