LONGMONT — The Mead softball team will tell you losing sometimes feels worse when you feel responsible.
The Mavericks fell 5-2 to the Berthoud Spartans at home on Saturday. They didn’t feel overmatched, outgunned, or shut down. The Mavericks simply felt they gave the game away.
“A few mistakes hurt us today,” sophomore center fielder Bree Boruff said. “I think that we need to pull together mentally and pull together as a team to eliminate those.”
While the Mavericks defense wasn’t sharp, Boruff was. The rangy sophomore kept the Mavericks in the game with several good plays. In the first inning she made a running, snow cone catch that turned two sure runs into an inning-ending double play.
But with six errors in the field and 15 runners left on base, in addition to mental miscues and baserunning gaffs, the Mavericks kept the game just out of their own reach.
Despite this latest loss and another tough 13-3 defeat at the hands of the Frederick Warriors, first-year head coach Amy Renaldi still thinks this year’s Mavericks (3-2, 2-2 Tri-Valley League) is the best the squad the school has had. They’re just learning to trust in their own ability, she added.
Berthoud swept Mead 9-0 and 12-2 during Tri-Valley League play last season. Junior catcher Tianna Harper said the Mavericks hadn’t yet let go of those defeats. If the Mavericks want to find a rhythm this season, Harper said they’ll have to separate 2013 from 2012.
“We kind of came out and we were expecting it to be like last year, which is why we’ve kind of been on our heels all season,” Harper said. “We’re starting to realize that we’re not as bad as we used to be. We have a really young team and we need to help lead them a little bit better. We’re still just a little timid at times.
“Especially since we play everybody twice in league, I think we’re going to come back and we’re not going to lose a second time. We’ll come back even better and with Renaldi as our coach, I think we’ll be able to go far.”
Junior Dani Asche had two of the Mavericks’ five hits, including a double. Senior Paulina Quintana, who allowed two earned runs on eight hits in a seven-inning start, Savannah Mill, who had the Mavericks’ lone RBI, and Boruff each singled.
The Mavericks entered Saturday’s game, which they never led, coming off back-to-back wins over Skyline and Peak to Peak in which they outscored the two opponents 28-0. After consecutive shutouts, the Mavericks couldn’t relocate that solid two-way play.
“With the little errors, we definitely beat ourselves,” Renaldi said. “Letting the leadoff hitters get on definitely kills us. It can’t happen.”
As big a problem as the six errors were, Renaldi thought leaving 15 runners on base was a bigger one.
“That’s our biggest issue right now,” Renaldi said. “A lot of that, I think, is because we’re young and we want to do well so bad that we’re impatient.”
The Mavericks will play a road contest against Roosevelt (3-1, 3-1 Tri-Valley) on Tuesday. The Roughriders also swept the Mavericks last season, 3-1, 10-3.
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Berthoud 5, Mead 2
At Mead H.S.
Berthoud (3-1, 3-1) 211 100 0 — 5 8 3
Mead (3-2, 2-2) 010 001 0 — 2 5 6
W — Armitage. L — P. Quintana.
Berthoud hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Baker 5-1-2-1, Bending 4-1-1-0, Boruff 4-1-1-1, Villareal 3-0-1-0, Kouns 3-1-0-1, L. Royer 4-0-1-1, Schuster 4-1-0-0, Kawakele 2-0-0-0, T. Royer 0-0-0-0, Langer 4-0-2-0, Armitage 0-0-0-0. Totals 33-5-8-4. SB — Kouns.
Mead hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — N. Quintana 2-0-0-0, Levine 3-0-0-0, Jellinek 3-0-0-0, P. Quintana 2-1-1-0, Asche 4-1-2-0, Gagnon 0-0-0-0, Mill 1-0-1-1, Harper 4-0-0-0, Boruff 4-0-1-0, Boaz 3-0-0-0. Totals 26-2-5-1. 2B — Asche. SB — Mill.
Berthoud pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Armitage 7-4-2-2-4-3.
Mead pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — P. Quintana 7-8-5-2-3-1.