Hayes proud of effort Raiders have put forth this season

The regular season came to a close this week for Navarre’s softball team and while the season has not been a smooth one all the way through, Navarre head coach Kelly Hayes can’t fault her team for the effort it has put forth.

“Despite the fact that it’s been a tough year with a lot of close games, our girls have done a good job of not giving up,” Hayes said. “They always fight back.”

It would be easy for Navarre to give up. After all, the Raiders have lost six games by a run, including a 7-6 loss to Owensboro (Ky.) on April 5. One night earlier, Navarre prevailed in a close game, edging Meade 6-5.

“We always battle in our at-bats,” Hayes said. “It’s one of our strengths. We show a lot of heart, especially in the last few innings.”

That much was evident against Owensboro after the Raiders (9-13) had fallen behind 7-4 on senior night. They came to life in the sixth inning, scoring twice to pull within one. Gabby Ayala scored on a groundout by Kallie Anderson and Callan Taylor scored on a passed ball.

Navarre had its rally attempt ended in the seventh. Jordyn York tallied a two-out double but the game ended moments later on a groundout by Ayala.

Navarre actually led 2-0 early as Taylor drove in a run in the first with a triple before Anderson brought Taylor across the plate with a base hit.

The score was tied at 2-2 and 3-3 as well before Navarre pushed itself in front 4-3 on a run-scoring base hit by Sam Combs in the second inning. Owensboro took the lead for good in the fourth.

York finished with three hits in the loss and Taylor Bowling tallied two hits.

Hanna Stapleton pitched a complete game, allowing seven runs on 10 hits. She struck out two and walked seven batters.

In the April 4 game against Meade, Navarre built a 4-1 lead in the first inning and never looked back, cranking out six hits, including a double by Ayala, who drove in two runs as well.

KK Trombley, Taylor and Anderson all drove in runs as well.

Taylor picked up the win on the mound, working the first three innings. She gave up three runs on three hits and struck out while only walking one batter.

“We’ve focused a lot on the little things, and when you do that, big things happen,” Hayes said. “We’ve worked a lot on keeping momentum. If you lose it, you have to find a way to get it back.”

Read more in the April 14 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

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