LOUISVILLE — When a prep softball team graduates five seniors at the end of a 4-15 season, it usually signals the start of a rebuilding process the following year.
That following year is 2017 for the Monarch softball team and the rebuild is just beginning, which likely means the Coyotes are in for a number of ups and downs under first-year head coach Beth Wilson this fall. The mercurial signs of a team building from the bottom up and searching for consistency have already showed up in Monarch's first two games.
Two days after the Coyotes (1-1) started the season on a high note with a blowout victory over Liberty in their opener, they came plummeting back to earth during a 19-0 home loss to Pomona (2-1) on Monday.
"This was a tough one because we just came off of a good, solid win," Coyotes junior Payton Thomas said after the team's first loss of the season. "But we came into this game with a good, positive attitude and we still have that. This year is going to be tough because we have a ton of new girls playing varsity and we're young. Basically, our goal for this year is growing together because we'll have another year together next year.
"We'd also really like to win more games than we did last year, but it's honestly less about the winning and more about building something as a team."
Already a quarter of the way to matching last season's win total, the Coyotes fell behind early on Monday when Pomona scored five runs in the top of the first inning. The Coyotes' best chance to get on the board came with two on and no outs in the bottom of the fourth, but they couldn't push a run across.
"They are a good team," Thomas said. "They hit the ball well and they defend well."
After going 1 for 2 on Monday, Thomas is now 4 for 6 through the Coyotes' first two games with one home run and four RBIs. Ellie Jahn, Jamie Thompson, Madeline Stilson and Ainslee Reese had the Coyotes' other four hits against Pomona.
The Coyotes will be right back at it on Tuesday, hosting Green Mountain at 4 p.m. Green Mountain was one of the four teams Monarch defeated in 2016.
Pomona 19, Monarch 0
At Monarch H.S.
Pomona (2-1) 530 29 — 19 16 0
Monarch (1-1) 000 00 — 0 5 4
W — Vigil. L — Thomas.
Pomona hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Spinks 5-3-2-1, Romero 3-3-1-1, Espinoza 6-2-3-2, Vigil 2-1-1-1, Stillman 1-2-1-0, Hufford 4-3-3-3, Mathers 3-1-2-4, Maes 4-1-1-1, Wolf 4-1-1-4, Ficco 3-0-1-0, Dewolf 0-1-0-0. Totals 35-18-16-17. 2B — Mathers 2, Espinoza, Vigil, Hufford, Wolf. SB — Maes.
Monarch hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Jahn 2-0-1-0, Laman 3-0-0-0, Thompson 2-0-1-0, Thomas 2-0-1-0, Rampy 0-0-0-0, Egaas 2-0-0-0, Stilson 2-0-1-0, Reese 2-0-1-0, Weideman 2-0-0-0, Laman 2-0-0-0, Olson 0-0-0-. Totals 19-0-5-0. SB — Jahn.
Pomona pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Vigil 5-5-0-0-1-8.
Monarch pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Thomas 5-16-18-10-4-1.