ANDERSON — Riverfield Major Softball All-Star team manager Seth Kelley said going into Thursday’s opening game of the Indiana State Little League Softball Tournament in Lebanon, he was a little uneasy about how a layoff from competition longer than a month would affect his 11- and 12-year-old players.
After a fairly easy run through the District 6 tournament that ended with a victory in the finals June 5 against Rush County, Riverfield had more than a month off from games.
Kelley made sure to hold practices five days a week to try and keep his girls fresh mentally and physically, but he said his team fell a little flat in Thursday afternoon’s 9-7 loss to South Bend Southeast in the first game of pool play.
“We had a little bit of a letdown,” Kelley said. “I don’t think we were as mentally sharp as we could have been. They came out in the middle half of the game and stuck two or three runs on us, and we weren’t as sharp as we could have been.”
In the top of the second inning, Riverfield was the first team to get on the board with a triple, followed by a fielder’s choice that put it up 1-0. South Bend Southeast, though, came out firing in the bottom half of the inning with four runs of its own, a couple due to some Riverfield errors that Kelley said may have come from the extended time off.
But Riverfield battled back in the top of the fifth inning with four runs of its own to tie the game at 6-6. South Bend answered once again with three runs in the bottom of the fifth, and just a single run was all Kelley’s squad could muster in the top of the sixth to fall two runs short.