FULTON, Ill. – It certainly wasn't the best weather to play softball in.
But, the Steamers (7-4) fought through it and went 2-1 in their home softball invite to finish second of the four team in the round robin tournament.
"It is hard and the weather played a huge factor," Fulton head coach Jessie Rosenow said. "We just had to keep reminding them, what's important, what's our job, and they did a very nice job in the end."
They picked up wins against Bureau Valley and Morrison along the way. Their day started out with the Storm, who they took down 6-4. With the 9 a.m. first pitch, the temperature hadn't warmed up to above 35 degrees yet and it was tough conditions for all.
"We came out nicely hitting," Rosenow said. "It was a very early game and we had to really kick it in there. Ally Curley had a nice complete game and that's what we expected of her."
The Steamers struck first and expanded their lead with a 4-run second inning against the Storm with Curley holding them off from there. Six girls in the lineup recorded hits in the first game.
They tried to carry that over into their second contest, but just couldn't quite get the job done. It ended in their only loss of the day, a 7-2 deficit to Durand.
Still, they had nine hits in the game. They just didn't come at the right times, leaving seven on base throughout the game.
"We just could not get those timely hits," Rosenow said. "And unfortunately those come back and bite you in a tournament like this. We connected but need to string them together."
They ended the day with a big 15-1 win over the Fillies, finishing the game in a quick four innings instead of six. Kylee Sweenie hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first and the Steamers never looked back.
In addition to being patient at the plate (10 walks, one hit by a pitch) they were aggressive on the bases with 10 stolen bases.
"Being aggressive, we knew what we wanted to do and the game plan we had for them," Rosenow said. "We executed it well along with timely hits and confidence behind our pitchers."
The Fillies (0-7), who made the quick trip from Morrison for the invite, struggled a bit more. They went 0-3 on the day.
"We're learning," head coach Korby Paul said. "We're doing the simple things and that's what we need to get better at."
That doesn't mean they weren't doing things right. They had eight hits against Fulton, their biggest loss of the day. Just like Fulton, they had more trouble stringing them together.
It didn't help that a lot of the balls they made contact with were picked up by the Steamers.
"Our bats came around and we were hitting very hard," Paul said. "Unfortunately, we were hitting right to them."
The Fillies have seven freshman on their roster and are in the middle of a learning curve according to Paul. They will focus as they move forward in their season and look for their first W. They will see Fulton again later this year in conference play.
"We just need to make basic plays. Catch balls, throw the ball, hit the ball. It's just where we're at right now."