UTICA — For a young and enthusiastic Utica Redskins team, there were plenty of reasons to feel dispirited.
Utica suffered a 7-2 league loss to Licking County rival Johnstown on Tuesday in 40 degree temperatures, winds and light flurries. There were, however signs that the Redskins are going in the right direction.
Junior Jacci Wright was getting the ball down in the strike zone a little more than in her last outing. There were signs of the offense coming to life. They even loaded the bases in the last inning.
The Redskins, however, still have some growing to do.
“We made some mistakes defensively,” said Utica softball coach Kayla Shomaker. “It seemed like, when we were hitting the ball, we were hitting it right to them. We’ve just got to do a better job of taking advantage of getting runners on base and getting them in, basically.
“We’re young and we only have one starter playing in the same position as last year,” Shomaker continued. “Going on, we’re going to have to work a little bit, but that’s the nature of the game.”
After a quick run in the first, the Johnnies got back-to-back RBI from pitcher Kelcey Spang and leftfielder Hannah Farley to take a 3-0 lead. They broke it open with a four-run fourth highlighted by a bases-loaded double by Meagan Yanczura to deep center that drove in all three runs. Yanczura, who had four RBI for the game, scored when Spang followed with a double of her own.