LAFAYETTE — Longmont softball coach Kelsey Walters knew it was coming.
One of the busiest weeks of the calendar season for her Trojans — six games in all — started on Tuesday afternoon at Centaurus. It was a game that her young team needed to set the tone for the rest of the week, if not the season, and they got it.
Longmont, on the strength of an 11-run fifth inning, mercy ruled the winless Warriors 18-3 and improved to 2-2 on the young season.
"A game like this allows us to work on things hitting wise and I was able to move some people around defensively," said Walters, whose team has a slightly different look to it than the 2015 version did. "We are very young, but each game we are progressing and we are learning more from our mistakes and building from it."
Longmont's busy week continues on Thursday against Niwot before concluding with back-to-back double headers on Friday and Saturday in Loveland at the Berthoud Tournament.
Centaurus dropped to 0-8 overall and 0-4 inside the Northern League.
The oh-so youthful Warriors did the Trojans a lot of favors early on Tuesday. Longmont scored four times in the third inning in a myriad of different ways: a wild pitch, a passed ball and a two-run fielding error at first base.
"Its a very young team with a lot of sophomores and a lot of freshmen, and today they executed a lot better," said first-year Centaurus coach Kristi Sawers. "We are giving up a lot of walks and a lot of free bases, but they are making adjustments on their hitting and they are doing it. We are seeing improvement."
After four innings, it was a 7-3 game. Centaurus plated two unearned runs against Jenna Moore — who incidentally allowed just one hit — on some sloppy defense in the fourth. The Trojans committed four of their seven errors in the frame.
But Longmont, which benefitted from Centaurus mistakes early on, took matters into their own hands in the fifth and final inning. They pounded out 11 runs on nine hits against Jessica Handwerker and Amaya Cox.
Pinch-hitter Ashley Dixon had a two-run single and Katrina Sabol had a bases clearing double to the fence to drive in three.
"By the end of this week, I am confident that we are going to be completely jelled," Walters said. "Learning from these in-game experiences is huge."
LONGMONT 18, CENTAURUS 3
Longmont (2-2, 1-1) 114 1(11) — 18 14 7
Centaurus (0-8, 0-4) 001 20 — 3 1 4
W — Jenna Moore (2-2). L — Amaya Cox.
Longmont hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Taylor Nielsen 5-3-3-0, Ayahna Bustamante 4-1-1-1, Natalia Alaniz 1-3-1-0, Ashley Dixon 1-1-1-2, Jenna Moore 2-1-1-1, Katrina Sabol 2-2-1-3, Alexa Nielsen 3-3-2-1, Katie Alaniz 2-0-0-0, Angeline Mitchell 2-2-2-1, Ali Aitken 0-1-0-1, Melissa Mosness 4-1-2-1. Totals 26-18-14-11.
Centaurus hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Alex Burgess 2-1-0-0,Chloe Radar 2-0-1-0, TK Borrego 1-0-0-0, Kerry Malone 1-0-0-0, Maggie Reed 3-0-0-0, Jessica Handwerker 3-0-0-0, Rachel Ringham 2-1-0-0, Chantelle Humphries 2-1-0-0, Regan Reynolds 1-0-0-0, Amaya Cox 0-0-0-0. Totals 17-3-1-0.
Longmont pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Moore 4-1-3-0-4-6, Malone 1-0-0-0-1-2.
Centaurus pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Cox 2.2-2-6-0-6-2, Handwerker 1.1-6-6-3-1, Cox 1-6-6-6-2-0.