NSA rebounds with win
Published 10:42 pm Thursday, March 21, 2013
The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Lady Saints had an opportunity before them as they hosted Hampton Roads Academy on Thursday afternoon. It was an opportunity not only to win, but also to rebound from a season-opening loss that got the season off on the wrong foot.
The Lady Saints made the most of it, scoring early and often in a 10-2 win as snow fell intermittently throughout the game.
“I thought it was an improvement from the last game,” head coach Kim Aston said.
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Last Friday, NSA was the team with two runs and visiting Windsor High School ended up with five, four coming in one inning.
“We made, I think, five errors in that game, so that’s a lot,” Aston said. “But with a young team…”
Aston made some adjustments this time to help bring a steady hand to the infield.
“We felt like after the first game, we were a little weak defensively and especially as far as having some leadership and communication on the field, because we had an eighth-grader at shortstop, an eighth-grader at second, a new player to the varsity (team) at third,” she said.
On Thursday, junior Macy Mears moved to shortstop, and eighth-grader Delaney Taylor took over Mears’ former spot at catcher.
“We just decided we’d go with Delaney, give her a shot back there, and she did a nice job,” Aston said.
Nansemond-Suffolk held a 9-2 lead in the fifth inning, but the Lady Navigators appeared ready to re-write the scoreboard with the bases loaded. The Lady Saints had gotten two outs, and when a batter hit a foul ball that popped up high, Taylor scrambled to catch it and end the inning.
“I play catcher for my travel ball team, so it’s not that big of a transition for me, but definitely, the transition from (junior varsity) to varsity has been like a whole different world,” Taylor said.
Though this will be Mears’ first season playing shortstop, she said, “I feel pretty comfortable out there.”
Senior pitcher Devin Coyne also looked very comfortable on the mound, confounding the Lady Navigators lineup with 15 strikouts.
“She works really hard, she has a pitching coach that she still works with a couple times a week all year long, not just in the season,” Aston said. “She’s gotten much better. Her change-up is good this year, and she keeps people off balance, which is a big improvement from last year.”
Coyne would have helped Morgan Daughtry on the mound last season, if not for a back injury.
The Lady Saints’ offense was the target of Coyne’s praise after the game.
“We were (much) more aggressive hitting,” she said. “We got in the box and we were ready to hit, right off the bat.”
Aston still noted some uncharacteristic defensive errors that the team will need to clean up moving forward, but she was pleased with the improvements from last week, including on the offensive side.
“I think that in spots we hit the ball really well today,” she said. “I think Macy was 4-for-4.”
The Lady Saints (1-1, 1-0) travel to play Portsmouth Christian School today.