Thursday will be a milestone for girls fast-pitch softball in Casper when Kelly Walsh and Natrona County take the field at Crossroads Field No. 2 for the first high school-sanctioned games in the Oil City.
“The girls are really excited to finally be playing at home,” Natrona County head coach Rick Robinson said.
After last month’s record snowfall canceled the season-opening tournament in Cheyenne and delayed the sport’s inaugural season in the state, the Trojans and the Fillies made their debuts in Green River and Rock Springs two weeks ago. Kelly Walsh opened with a 31-3 rout of Green River and completed a 2-0 weekend with an 8-5 win at Rock Springs.
“When we played Green River I just felt like everybody was on,” KW head coach Claire Smith said. “Against Rock Springs we got a big hit early and it just kind of rolled after that.
“The first weekend we wanted to come out hard and strong and I think we did that.”
The Fillies, on the other hand, dropped a 5-1 decision to Rock Springs in their opener before pounding Green River 21-1 the following day. According to Robinson, the Fillies scored a run in the first inning against Rock Springs, but the Tigers countered with four runs in the bottom of the inning. Three of the runs were a result of Natrona County errors.
“I think it was first-game jitters,” Robinson said. “We settled down after the first inning and basically played them even.
“And then against Green River we were able to shake off that first day and had a fresh attitude and our bats came alive.”
Thursday’s action begins at 1 p.m. with a junior varsity game followed by the varsity doubleheader. The first game, which is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., will count toward the Class 4A West Conference standings.
“We know Kelly Walsh has more of an upperclassmen-dominated team where we only have two seniors,” Robinson said. “But we’re just happy to be outside and playing. We just have to relax, take it one pitch at a time and have fun.”
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