The Herald Bulletin

July 13, 2013

Riverfield storms back in state

By Nathan Brown
The Herald Bulletin

---- — 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.”

And against a team from Bedford today at 2 p.m. in Lebanon, Kelley said he expects a very similar result.

With the pressure of trying not to lose off his team’s back, Kelley said he feels like Riverfield can play with a much better rhythm and continue its dominance en route to the semi-finals, held next week. He said he still feels a 3-1 record, which would all but seal a spot in the semis, is certainly in reach.

“We got those first game jitters out, realizing the only thing we can do is get better from here,” Kelley said. “I expect to win, and I think it’ll be in a dominant fashion. That’s how I expect us to play, and we’ll continue to get better throughout the tournament.

“If we keep hitting the ball like we are and play defense like we did today, we’ll win tomorrow’s game.”