"We put the ball in play and coming off spring break and having a little rust, that was nice to see us make some contact," Eagles head coach Chris Jones said. "Make some contact, put the ball in play and see what happens. We were able to take advantage of some mistakes they had and score some runs off of that.
"I was just glad the way we came out. They jumped on us early and got an early run and how are we going to respond. We came back and answered that in the next inning and that was great to see. Then we kept on top of things, which is good to see early on in the season," he added.
It was the Clovers who drew first blood in the contest when Bradanne Toney smacked an RBI single to score Paige Gutierrez. The Clovers took the early advantage, but South Putnam was quick to respond and posted its own run in the bottom of the opening inning when Emily Dabkowski crossed the plate.
South Putnam starting pitcher Brooke Boetjer record saw three batters in the top of the second inning and sent each back to the dugout after recording three strikeouts. The Eagle offense used that momentum and unleashed its bats in the bottom of second inning.
The Eagles came out and scored five runs on four hits with Brenly Bratcher and Boetjer posted two RBIs each to lead the way. After holding the Clovers scoreless in the third, South Putnam tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the inning with the highlight being Dabkowski's strong RBI-triple.
South Putnam held an 8-1 advantage, but Cloverdale was able to provide a little fight as they scored one run in the fourth, but South Putnam was quick to crush any hopes the Clovers had of making a comeback.
The Eagles scored two runs in the fourth to go ahead 11-2 and ended the game in the next inning when the Clovers walked Jenna Jones to cross the winning run to win 12-2.
Cloverdale head coach Brian Knapp said the break his team had entering the game didn't help matter much.
"We need practice," Knapp said. "We've been off for 11 days right now, so we need practice. They haven't seen a ball in the 11 days since we played Bloomfield. They started out on fire and I thought we might be all right, but we've got some young ones playing. We have a freshman catcher and she plays third. She did a good job tonight.
"The other catcher sophomore -- she did a good job tonight. Pitching, we're behind the eight ball. Our one pitcher, they got on her and our other one doesn't pitch anymore and she has to go in a throw -- and she's not a refined pitcher," he added.
The Eagles showed signs of rust early, but were able to shake it and find their groove. The Eagles field awareness was clear when Dabkowski stretched single into a double to put herself in position to provide the winning run.
"Our girls have what I like to call 'softball instincts' and they've played the game a lot," he said. "So there are little things they've just grown up around and they continually do and you saw a couple things like that. It's nice to have that.
"And we have some experience from last year and that also a big thing. With four seniors this year, the leadership they're giving us so far this season -- if we can continue to do that, that will be good for us," Jones added.
"Give them credit, they're a state championship team. They came out and did just what they're supposed to do. Give it all to them. They did what they needed to do. If we can get rid of the errors, we can stay there and play with them a little bit," Knapp said.
South Putnam was able to get production from its entire lineup Monday. It's No. 7 through No. 9 hitters were a combined 6-for-7 with three RBIs and four runs scored.
"It's nice to get production all the way around and you hope that production continues," Jones said.
South Putnam also won on Tuesday at Cloverdale 8-1. Dabkowski led the way going 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Jones added a home run. Jenny Thompson was 1-for-2 with a double and two RBIs and Mattie Varvel was 1-for-2.
South Putnam will host Rockville tonight at 5 p.m., while Cloverdale will travel to Owen Valley Thursday at 5 p.m.
At South Putnam
Cloverdale 100 10 -- 2 3 2
South Putnam 153 21 -- 12 13 2
WP -- Boetjer
LP -- Raisor