In the end, the result was the same. The Navarre Raiders lost another softball game to District 2-7A power Niceville, falling 11-1 in six innings to the Eagles Tuesday night at home.
The Raiders at least scored a run this time. They were blanked 11-0 in five innings the first meeting a few weeks ago.
But take a look beyond what the scoreboard says and there are differences in the two games.
“It was a totally different atmosphere than when we played them there,” first-year head coach Kelly Hayes said. “It was 1-0 going into the fifth and it should have been 0-0. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
The Eagles broke the game open in the fifth inning, putting five runs on the scoreboard and sealed the deal in the sixth with another five runs.
As tough as the loss was to digest, Hayes was pleased with the effort her team put forth against the Eagles. She also said it’s a sign the team is making strides.
“It means we are getting stronger,” Hayes said. “We might not be where we want to be yet, but we will get there.”
Navarre did bounce back Wednesday with a 12-3 road win over Pace.
The Raiders cranked out 12 hits, including a three-run home run by Kallie Anderson. Allie Dukes led the way with three hits. She also knocked in two runs. Callan Taylor and Emma Thomas came through with two hits apiece. KK Trombley tallied one hit and drove in two runs.
Stapleton shined in seven innings of work, allowing only three runs on three hits. She struck out six.
As for the game against Niceville, what helped Navarre hang around was that it battled in each at-bat.
Read more in the March 17 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.