LOUISVILLE — Last year was not a good one for the Monarch softball team.

In 2013, the Coyotes finished 2-17 and went winless in the 5A Front Range League. But things are looking up so far under new head coach Erika Trujillo in 2014.

Despite a 17-7 loss to Fort Collins in Wednesday’s Front Range League opener, the Coyotes are still pleased with their program’s direction.

“I don’t know too much about last year’s history but this year we have a lot of great kids and a lot of potential,” Trujillo said. “The only way to go is up from here. We have a lot of young kids and we’re trying to set a pace for ourselves. We’re ready.”

Off to a 2-4 start through the first six games of the season, the Coyotes have already matched last year’s two-win total.

Against Fort Collins (4-2) the Coyotes fell behind early, with two errors leading to two runs in the first inning and starter Ali Harford giving up a three-run home run in the second. Trailing 9-2 in the fourth inning, the Coyotes rallied for three runs and scored two more and had the bases loaded in the sixth before the mercy rule ended the game.

“Fort Collins has a pretty stable ball club so it was good to face some good competition to start the league schedule,” Trujillo said. “Our kids went out there and tried their hardest. They’re learning a lot of new things and they performed decently but we still have a lot of improving to do.”

Sydney Marchetti, Ali Harford and Jane Polyard each had multiple hits in the game for the Coyotes. Marchetti and Harford drove in single runs while Polyard batted home two.

Each team committed six errors. Of the 17 runs Fort Collins scored against Harford, who allowed 16 hits, seven were unearned.

“As a team, we’re trying to limit the errors but we had some first-game jitters out there,” Maddy Gailey said. “We are just working on playing one play at a time and not over think too many things. We love the new coaches and practices have been really productive so we’ve already improved by leaps and bounds from last year.”

For Collins defeated the Coyotes 9-1 in 2013. The Coyotes’ two wins this season are against Standley Lake (1-7) and Widefield (1-4).

Monarch will be back in Front Range League action on Tuesday when they will host Poudre.

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Fort Collins 17, Monarch 7

At Monarch H.S.

Fort Collins 230 435 — 17 16 6

Monarch 011 302 — 7 9 6

W — Fort Collins: Dudash. L — Harford.

Fort Collins hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Dill 3-4-0-0, Anderson 5-5-5-4, White 4-1-2-3, Seale 5-2-3-3, Rowlett 5-1-2-1, Riedel 5-0-1-1, Dudash 3-1-1-0, Deal 3-0-0-0, H. Mawlawi 4-2-2-1, Curran 1-0-0-0, Mawlawi 0-1-0-0. Totals 37-17-16-10. 2B — Anderson 2, White, Seale. 3B — Seale. HR — Anderson (2 on in 2nd). SB — White 2, Dill, Rowlett, H. Mawlawi.

Monarch hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Car. Skram 3-0-0-0, Marchetti 4-2-2-1, Cas. Skram 2-1-1-0, Gailey 4-1-1-0, Harford 2-0-2-1, Polyard 3-0-2-2, Urbach 3-0-0-0, Nelson 3-1-0-0, Jonas 4-1-1-0, Stephensen 0-1-0-0. Totals 28-7-9-4.

Fort Collins pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Dudash 3 1/3-7-5-1-1-0, Curran 2 2/3-2-2-1-3-1-0.

Monarch pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Harford 6-16-17-10-1-1.