Although the Boardman softball team possesses a 3-4 record this season it doesn't mean that the Lady Spartans haven't had some solid wins.
For instance, Boardman beat Cardinal Mooney 8-1 last Saturday at the Field of Dreams as part of a split double header. That win was added to a pair of positive victories earlier this year over Twinsburg and Warren Harding, which has given head coach Mike Trell reason for optimism in this otherwise rebuilding season.
"We are a work in progress," said Trell in a recent phone interview. "We have upperclassmen who haven't played a lot of varsity, but they are hard-working kids. We are trying to get better every day."
Trell has seven seniors this season with six of them acting as starters. Three juniors can also be found as starters on Trell's lineup card. Two of those juniors had big days against Mooney with Katie Seeco and Katelynn Morrell each picking up a pair of hits. Senior Megan Jones jammed a home run in the win. Jones also homered and tripled in the Spartans 11-3 setback to Fitch in the second half of that split twin bill.
"We have been hitting the ball well," said Trell about his team's offense so far this season. "We have some good speed, too."
The biggest weakness so far for the Lady Spartans has been in the field. Errors and shoddy defense were big factors in losses to Mathews and North Canton Hoover earlier this April.
"We are not playing well defensively," Trell complained. "Improvement must come defensively. It'll take some time and adjustment."
In that 15-3 mercy rule loss to the two-time defending state champion Lady Vikings, Boardman gave up eight runs in the first inning to immediately be taken out of the game. Hoover scored in every subsequent inning as well.
"We were beaten early," said Trell. "At least we did get six hits and were able to get everyone into the game."
Junior Melissa Maiorano made two of those six hits with a single, double and a run scored. Coach Trell hopes that contributions like that will enable his bunch to be more competitive when the playoffs roll around.
"We hope to peak by the Districts," admitted the coach. "We haven't put a good all around game together yet."
The other seniors besides Jones who hope to aid in those good games are Courtney and Caitlin Cina, Megan Jones, Casey Johnson, Sabrina Marshall and Marina Damato. Like coach Trell said, these girls may be ready to graduate, but that tenure is in the classroom more than on the diamond. Since the Spartans have tasted success in the recent past, it is no surprise that this season may be one for regrouping. Unfortunately, Boardman has to play in a conference that doesn't care how inexperienced you are.
"We are only two years removed from our last state tournament run," Trell explained. "But the Federal League is the best league in the state for softball."
Still, the coach thinks his team has the talent to possibly exceed some of the experts' expectations.
"I think we are a middle of the conference team and we'll win some conference games," Trell said assuredly.
With conference games coming up at Uniontown Lake and Canton GlenOak and a home Federal League match with Massillon Jackson all in the next week, Trell's team will have ample opportunity to prove that his confidence is warranted.