Riverfield bounces back with shutout victory at tournament
By Nathan Brown
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON—After the Riverfield Major Softball All-Star team got its first-game jitters out of the way during a 9-7 loss Thursday to South Bend Southeast, manager Seth Kelley’s team came back in dominating fashion Friday, shutting out Southport 14-0 in the Indiana State Little League Softball Tournament.
Kelley said leading up to the tournament, he was a bit nervous as to how his girls would react to not having played a game since their District 6 title in early June and being a favorite coming into the tournament.
Riverfield kept its momentum going at the plate from Thursday, but Kelley said the biggest difference he saw was in his team’s defensive effort all around the diamond.
“We made the routine plays, and we played with a little more swagger today, a little bit more confidence,” Kelley said. “I don’t think we were tight. It’s the second day in, and everybody just played the game like they’re supposed to. We just played ball like we can, and when they put the ball in play, we did something with it.”
Kelley’s team stormed out to nine runs in the first inning – putting up more than they scored during their first-game loss – and from there, Kelley said it was an all-around team effort.
Riverfield connected with 17 hits and four extra-base hits in what Kelley described as the best hitting day he had seen his team have in quite some time.
Although he added that hitting has traditionally been his team’s strength. If his players can field the ball every game like they did Friday, he said, they’ll be almost unstoppable.
“If you out-hit a team, and you play defense, there’s no way they can beat you,” Kelley said. “It’s a team effort. Everybody hit the ball, and when you have 14 hits, that means everybody hit the ball and multiple times. It was just a good team effort today.”