RALEIGH — Wakefield softball coach Danny Inscoe knew Thursday’s game at Enloe was an opportunity to get the Wolverines back on the winning side of momentum heading into spring break after dropping a series of close contests.
The Wolverines responded with an 8-0 win.
“Up until Tuesday we had lost three games by a total of six runs, so all it was was an inning difference,” Inscoe said. “The opponents got a great inning, and if they wouldn’t have, it easily could have been wins for us.
“On Tuesday (an 11-1 loss to Millbrook), however, we just had a bad game and it was ugly. I think having a Friday close game, we lost by two; Monday lost by three; it just kind of snowballed. So it was really big. I didn’t really talk about it much, but going into the break with that win, we definitely needed it.”
Six different players scored in the effort, with freshman Bella Buccellato leading the way going 3 for 4 at the plate, scoring two runs and knocking in one RBI.
Junior pitcher Annie Lane helped pace the Wolverines defense, giving up two hits and striking out five in the Cap Eight matchup.
“Our defense has played great overall,” Inscoe said. “We’re still find our identity. We’re in a position where we’re 4-4 and we definitely could have been better than that (if it weren’t for us) not hitting the ball. Our defense has kept us in the games. We’re just still struggling. We’ve got to get the bats on it, but I’d rather be still trying to get to that point and peak later on then to be there and unravel at the end of the season. It’s a big mental game.”
The first-year head coach is no stranger to many of the Wolverines players; the familiarity has helped the team to a .500 record through the first eight games of the season. He has tried to limit the amount of transition that can come with a coaching change.
“I coached 14 of the 16 girls (at Wakefield) Middle School, so I’ve known the majority since seventh grade,” he said. “Trying to change things is not part of my game plan. We’ve changed little things just mainly because of new players and new positions , but the standard things we just kind of left alone and let it be. I figured the less changes for them, the easier the transition.”
For Enloe, which committed five errors in the loss, the season has been a learning process.
The Eagles have three returning starters, but just one returning player in the same position.
“What we’re working on right now is our experience,” Enloe coach Harry Fields said. “We have a lot of inexperience on our team and the girls are trying to learn to play the game. We’re working on just the basics. ... Getting them experience is a time thing. Unfortunately you can’t rush it.”