For Windsor, a handful of Roosevelt runs in the fifth and sixth innings was enough.
For the Rough Riders, a barrage of Wizards runs in the fourth inning was way too much.
Windsor took a huge lead midway through its home softball opener. Roosevelt made it interesting late, but the Wizards ultimately held on for an 8-5 Class 4A Tri-Valley Conference win Thursday.
“For a home opener, it’s nice to (win),” Windsor coach Aryn Henneke said. “What we want to see though, is us not letting down. That’s where the maturity and experience level that we have on the field is going to come into play. We’ll need some people that have that maturity and experience to step up and really pull the younger, less-experienced (players) in.”
With a strong mix of youngsters and veterans, the Wizards improved to 1-1 to assure their home opener was successful. The Rough Riders fell to 0-2 during a challenging early season schedule.
After Windsor junior pitcher Bre Hamilton and Roosevelt senior hurler Makayla Deeter took turns fending off the opposition’s offense, Wizards sophomore third baseman Kristen Bessey broke the ice with an RBI single to score Maddie Singleton in the bottom of the third.
An inning later, any remnants of the early-game pitchers’ duel were wiped away by Windsor’s seven-run, nine-hit bottom of the fourth.
Hamilton, who went 2 for 2 with an RBI in the inning, was cool as a cucumber in the circle after suddenly being handed an 8-0 lead.
“It was just a big rally that we had, it brought a lot of spirits up,” Hamilton said. “Confidence and everything went up. It was really comforting.”
While Hamilton hit 3 for 4 and reached base in all four of her at-bats, catcher and three-hole hitter Janae Cameron wasted no time making an impact in front of her hometown fans.
Cameron, a freshman, hit 2 for 4 with two doubles and was robbed of another hit when Roosevelt third baseman Mariah Lopez snagged a hard-hit Cameron liner and parlayed it into a nifty double play to end the fifth.
Cameron showed few jitters in Windsor’s home opener after going 1 for 4 with an RBI in a 6-5 road loss to Frederick on Tuesday.
Any butterflies Cameron had weren’t evident in her performance.
“There was some nerves; as a freshman, it’s really hard,” Cameron said. “But, you just kind of shake them off in that first inning and get a feel of (the game).”
After being in jeopardy of losing via the 10-run mercy rule in the fifth, the Rough Riders did just enough in the final few innings to put a scare in the Wizards and nearly erase the deficit completely.
Roosevelt reaped the benefits of a pair of Windsor errors to score three runs in the fifth.
In the sixth, Kianna Flores drove in Taylor Roth, and Monica Ramirez scored on an error to trim the gap to 8-5.
Hamilton — who returned to the circle after momentarily being relieved by Ashton Kazmierski — slammed the door on the Rough Riders in the seventh, surrendering a single to Geana Gray but leaving her stranded after striking out Breanna Cardona on a full count to end the game.
“We played solid and kept it close, but now we have to take the next step to not just keep it close but to take the lead,” said Roosevelt coach Alan Gibson, whose team lost to Holy Family 11-1 on Tuesday. “We haven’t played with a lead yet. We gave up way too many runs in that fourth inning, and we have to learn to minimize the damage a lot better.”
RHS 000 032 0 — 5 7 4
WHS 001 700 X — 8 15 3
RHS — Makayla Deeter (L, 0-2, 14H, 7ER, 1BB, 0SO), Breanna Cardona (5th, 1H, 0ER, 0BB, 2SO) and Monica Ramirez. RBI – Brianna Arndt, Kianna Flores, Taylor Roth.
WHS — Bre Hamilton (W, 1-1, 3H, 1ER, 3BB, 1SO), Ashton Kazmierski (5th, 1H, 0ER, 2BB, 0SO), Hamilton (6th, 3H, 1ER, 1BB, 2SO) and Janae Cameron. 2B – Cameron 2; RBI – Kristen Bessey 2, Cameron, Hamilton, Hailey Hinson, Ali Seaman, Maddie Singleton.