By Nathan DeenJune 20, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (June 19, 2013) -- In the first two games of the season, team captain Thomas Sutherland said the 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry Regiment, softball team struggled to get things going early offensively.
That wasn't a problem Wednesday at Engineer Field as 1-46 put up five runs in the top of the first inning on its way to a 12-6 dismantling of 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment. The win helped 1-46 improve to 2-1 on the season, as of June 12, while 3-1 Cav. suffered its first loss and dropped to 2-1.
"The first game we only scored two runs; second game we only scored four runs," said Sutherland, who had a two-run single in the top of the second inning.
"That's probably the best game we've had. After the first couple of runs came in, we kept the motivation up."
Christopher Hurd had an outstanding day getting on base and crossing the plate -- collecting two doubles and an RBI while managing to steal home plate twice.
Hurd stole home in the top of the first inning and then managed to do it again in the top of the fourth. Hurd led off the top of the fourth and turned a single into a double with aggressive base running, moved over to third after a deep fly out and swiped home as 3-1 Cav. pitcher Jerry Powell was receiving the toss from catcher Vaudree Bedford.
"That was two easy runs right there … and his batting was outstanding," Sutherland said. "That was the first time he's stolen home."
With a solid defense that committed just one error in the game, 1-46 stayed focused on getting outs, even if a run scored every once in a while. A perfect example was the bottom of the third inning -- 3-1 Cav. got its first two batters on base, but 1-46 got two straight groundouts. 3-1 Cav. managed to score just one run in the inning and left the bases loaded when Luke Bradshaw lined out to center field.
"We were outstanding (defensively)," Sutherland said. "I couldn't ask for anything else. Even if one run got in, we didn't let it get to us. Some teams will let it get to them and then it just goes downhill from there. We didn't let it get to us at all."
3-1 Cav. team captain Daniel Butcher said it was just one of those days for his team in which they couldn't get anything going offensively. Too many balls were grounded to shortstop, he said, and 1-46 played its extra outfielder up about 20 yards behind the outfield, which led to several would-be base hits turning into lineouts.
"We always seem to hit it to that guy too," Butcher said. "I keep telling the guys if we can start hitting opposite field, we can make stuff happen.
"We weren't hitting the ball really hard. We were making it easy for them. I like when we hit the ball on the ground, but we weren't hitting the ball hard enough, and the pop flies killed us."