JAMESTOWN — The score during Thursday’s game was 6-0 in favor of Greeneview during the bottom of the fourth.
For Cedarville, it was a milestone mark. The first time this season it did not trail by double digits runs after three.
Programs wouldn’t typically want to celebrate such measures, but the moment is a sign of positive progress for the Indians. After all, the team is taking the diamond for the first time in three years.
Cedarville did not have the numbers to field a team last year and was wiped out of any chance to play in 2020 due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There’s a lot of excitement in Cedarville for softball,” Coach Matt Caraway said. “Most of my team has never played before, so going through some growing pains learning the game for the very first time, just entirely new to the sport.”
The team’s record and game production show off the inexperience. Cedarville is 0-9 and has only been able to score three runs.
Only two seniors make up a roster of 11, with the other nine being freshman and sophomores.
During Thursday’s game, Greeneview Coach Chris Reno was impressed by the at-bats, aggressiveness, and energy Cedarville brought. He said it was easy to tell though where its inexperience shows in all phases of the game.
“I don’t know how many of them came up with softball, you know, knowing softball,” Reno said. “It doesn’t seem like a whole lot because I used to live in Cedarville and I graduated from Cedarville and they didn’t really have a softball program back then either. So I feel it’s the youth program. They didn’t grow their youth program so it filters into the high school level. But I think they will be fine. Keep playing together, keep the attitudes up, they’ll be fine.”
Reno expressed how a lack of multi-sport athletes can also bring difficulties. Only Ryleigh Burnett, Olivia Miller and Ayden Rodgers played on another varsity team at Cedarville this calendar year.
Caraway said he appreciates the effort his team is putting forth and knows it is trying its best but also is seeing how difficult it is to learn on the fly.
“It’s tough to lose the way we’re doing, but they’ve got to learn,” he said. “They’ve got to learn to compete, they’ve got to learn not just the game but how to deal with disrespect, they got to learn humility, and every one of our losses has been like this, so they’ve learned a lot of things the hard way.”
The game against Greeneview stayed close by Cedarville’s current standards through three and a half innings, but the Rams tacked on 14 runs in the fourth to pull away in a 20-0 romp.
Another large loss meant another moment in the learning process for the Indians. Caraway is impressed though by how “bright eyed” his players can be in wanting to learn about the game despite the consistent setbacks on the scoreboard and likes to see them figuring out how to compete at this level.
He believes the enthusiasm is growing in Cedarville for softball and likes the number of kids signing up at the new recreational league levels.
Caraway does not want to make any predictions for what the final weeks of this season could hold, but he is excited about the foundation being built this year for future teams.
“I’m grateful to be in the spot that I am,” Caraway said. “I love what I’m doing and I’m going to be here as long as they want me to do it. There’s a big group of middle schoolers coming up. A lot of numbers and great athletes coming up. So the future’s bright for softball at Cedarville.”