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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Tiger Cubs remain positive in defeat

Monday, April 23, 2007

Greencastle senior Tabitha Wilson awaits a pitch she turned into a single in the fourth inning of Saturday's loss to Danville. Wilson's single opened an inning that produced the Tiger Cubs' first run of the game.
While wins continue to be a rare commodity for Greencastle's softball team, things like unity, team spirit and a willingness to compete do not. The Tiger Cubs lost to Danville, 5-2, on Saturday to fall to 1-9 on the season. However, you can't tell that in the attitudes of the players or Coach Dave Keller.

"We're struggling in wins and losses. We're not struggling as a group," Keller said. "You'd never guess our team was 1-9."

Taking the field, the Tiger Cubs looked as excited and confident as any 9-1 team. They cheered on one another and always kept it positive. The wins simply aren't coming yet.

"I told them if we pick up one thing every game, we'll be a pretty tough team," Keller said.

Keller has begun to see this process, of learning every game, really take shape in the Tiger Cubs' last pair of games. He was pleased with what he saw.

"I've seen a lot of postive things the last two games," he said.

Greencastle had the opportunity to get down on themselves early, as Danville scored two in the opening frame. They added another in the third as the Tiger Cubs continued to struggle with the pitching of the Warriors' Katie Hall.

Then in the fourth, Greencastle's Tabitha Wilson led off with a single. Courtesy runner Dee Wood took over and quickly stole second base. She then advanced to third on Kayla Nobles' groundout. Wood came home when Kylie Rowings reached on a fielding error. It was a great example of how a team must manufacture runs against a pitcher like Hall.

In the fifth, Cassie Alspaugh got things started for GHS with a single. She then stole second before Jessica Miller's single brought her home.

While the runs in the fourth and fifth got Greencastle back into the ballgame at 3-2, the Warriors were too much in the late innings. Hall shut down the Tiger Cubs while her own team scored one run in each the sixth and seventh. Keller, though, was happy with his team competing for seven innings.

"Losses like this make you a better team," he said. "We leave everything on the field."

What Keller and his players have kept in mind is that they are trying to build a good program, which is not accomplished overnight.

"This is a marathon, not a sprint, with this program. It's not all about wins and losses right now. It's about building some character, building some confidence and learning. We're learning together," Keller said.

Little things, like maturity from his young players, are the victories Keller sees. Freshman pitcher Nobles went six and two-thirds innings with five strikeouts. She allowed five runs on eight hits and six walks. While she fell just one out short of a complete game, Keller was happy with her honesty with him during a meeting in the seventh.

"I asked her, 'Are you getting tired?' and she was honest with me. Those are the things we're learning," Keller said.

"All 23 girls respect what we're trying to do," he said.

The Tiger Cubs will host Speedway in a WCC game at 5 p.m. today.

At Greencastle

Danville 201 001 1 -- 5 8 1

Greencastle 000 110 0 -- 2 4 2

W -- Hall

L -- Nobles

2B -- Tanner 2, Dale, Scott (DAN)

Next game -- Greencastle hosts Speedway at 5 p.m. today.

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