RALEIGH — Sanderson held a one-run lead over Wakefield entering the third inning earlier this month. It was just the second time this year the Spartans softball team led after a complete inning of play, but the visiting Wolverines soon came alive, scoring 12 runs in the fourth inning to cruise to a 16-3 win in five innings.
Sanderson last won a softball game on May 4, 2012, an 8-7 conference victory over Enloe. The Spartans have lost all but one game by more than 10 runs this season.
“We’re just not getting to our potential,” said Sanderson coach Michael Cody. “We’re making mistakes that we don’t usually do. We practice one way and we play a different way. It’s like all of a sudden the girls went through a time warp and forgot everything that we’ve done in the past. ... We play really well at times and at other times it’s, who knows, it’s kind of like a Jekyll and Hyde type thing.”
Sanderson (0-13, 0-8 Cap Eight), which does not field a JV team due to a lack of players to support two rosters, has five freshmen and a sophomore on its varsity team.
The goal, Cody said, is to improve with each day, each game and each week.
“We have gotten better,” he said. “It doesn’t look like it at times, but I can see the improvement. Right now the physical stuff is there. It’s the mental; that’s where we’re struggling the most is not doing what we need to do. ... it’s not because they can’t physically do it, it’s mentally we’re just making too many mistakes.”
The Spartans finished with seven hits in the loss to Wakefield, just one less than the Wolverines, but Sanderson left six runners stranded on base throughout the contest. On the other side of the ball, it was Sanderson’s seven errors that set the tone for the game.
Nine of Wakefield’s runs were aided by Sanderson errors.
“It’s tough,” Cody said. “It’s tough for them. It’s tough for anybody to do what we’ve been doing and working hard every day and not seeing the end result as far as games are concerned. But I’m really happy with what they do. They’re fun to be around. They do work hard, believe it or not.
“They come out here and work as hard just about as any other group of athletes in the school , maybe even moreso; and the tough thing is that they keep coming back, which is something I appreciate because it’s easy to do this when you’re on top of the world, but you see the true character of people when you’re not doing well. and they keep on coming back and they stick with each other.”
Sanderson will face Millbrook Wednesday before traveling to Enloe Friday. Enloe won the teams’ first meeting 11-10 in eight innings.