Softball team striving for improvement
It certainly wasn’t the result that head softball coach Scott Chester was hoping for, but it was definitely the effort.
"They’re playing a better, more positive kind of game," Chester said.
Even though Park City fell 17-2 to the 4A Olympus Titans, the team showed promise after struggling to win any games in the last few seasons. Down just 4-2 at the top of the third inning, the Miners had a glimmer of hope that Chester hopes they can build on by the middle of the season.
"I think last year, they expected to get blasted every game," Chester said.
A struggling defense at the bottom of the third allowed the Titans to gradually pull away from the Miners, eventually forcing the mercy rule to be called after the bottom of the fourth.
Even though the season is underway, Chester is still toying with a formula that will enable the Miners to win. Chester said that many of the girls are playing in new positions so that the Miners’ coaching staff can determine different looks and strategies. With the defense changing, so to is the offensive lineup, which makes consistency difficult. He also has the problem of too much of a good thing. A number of the girls are skilled at one position, so many of the girls have been learning to play other positions in the last few weeks.
He is hoping to create a solid infield to create a tight Miners defense, but says the confidence and skills needed for that will only come with more practice and game experience.
"They have not played," Chester said. "They need to believe they can do it."
Right now the team is still working on fundamentals, and learning instinctively where to make a play, but Chester says they look more comfortable every game.
One very encouraging spot for Chester has been Park City’s pitching. Starter Ivy Jorquera continues to strike people out and improves every game.
"The pitching quality is better," Chester said. "I feel I have pitchers that strike people out. Now, we just need a defense that can field it."
The girls will have multiple chances to work on their skills this weekend, as they compete in the St. George Tournament, which started Friday. The girls have a tiring four games in two days, but Chester hopes that the structure and intensity of the pool play-style tournament will help the girls work on defense and game decision making. The games are also limited to an hour, meaning that the Miners will only have about four innings to make a statement.
"You have to be aggressive in these situations," Chester said.
The Miners have a tough draw against Cedar, Millard and a Nevada team, but Chester is still planning on a win.
"I want the memory to be winning the game in St. George," Chester said.
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The Park Record’s top stories list this past weekend included pieces on the area’s historic drought, vandalism of a beloved local work of art and more.