With a new coach and many new faces, Shadow Ridge’s softball team is learning a lot about itself early in the season.
On Wednesday, the Mustangs learned they can rally for a win.
Trailing by four runs after two innings and by one after three, the Mustangs battled back and then hung on to beat host Cimarron-Memorial, 8-7.
“We’re just trying to see who is going to go out there and mix it up and play hard,” first-year coach Nick Grove said. “We’re also trying to work our way into the season. A lot of the early season is our learning process. We’re trying to get set on a lineup.
“I’m a realist. We still have a long way to go.”
Shadow Ridge (4-0) had little going in the first two innings before breaking through with five runs on six hits in the third. Five of the hits came in an eight-pitch span as the Mustangs suddenly started attacking any pitch they saw.
“We have a grinder mentality,” Grove said. “We were maybe a little rattled at first. Maybe it was one time through (the order), maybe it was just the game slowing down for them a little bit.”
Cimarron (6-3) retook the lead in the bottom of the inning, but Shadow Ridge scored twice in the fourth without the ball leaving the infield.
A fielding error and a bunt single put the first two runners on base, a wild pitch advanced them, and RBI groundouts by Justin Garganese and Jojo Brewer gave Shadow Ridge the lead for good at 7-6.
Garganese added a long home run in the sixth, and Cimarron scored once in the seventh.
Garganese finished 2-for-3 with the homer, a double and two RBIs. The top five hitters in the Mustangs’ order were a combined 8-for-17 against the Spartans, who had allowed a total of 17 runs in their first eight games.
“Cimarron is a good ballclub,” Grove said. “It shows us that we can come out and compete and play with anybody.”
Sarah Murphy was 2-for-3 with a double, one RBI and two runs, and Sarina Cresswell was 2-for-3 with a run for Cimarron.