HUNTINGTON -- A miscommunication caused the Chesapeake softball team to arrive at Rotary Park for its game with Huntington St. Joe about 20 minutes late.
But the Panthers (1-3) wasted no time once they hit the field, defeating the Irish in three innings by mercy rule, 18-1.
It's been that kind of year for St. Joe (0-4). But then, the school didn't have enough players to field a team last season, and the players coach Karri Fischer does have aren't that experienced.
St. Joe had a chance to stop the bleeding at 4-0 in the top of the first inning, but a missed tag and a couple of errors allowed that to grow to 9-0.
The Irish again had two out without giving up any runs in the top of the second, but consecutive errors pushed the score to 12-1 before St. Joe could get off the field.
The top of the third was more of the same, though Chesapeake coach Aaron Rice was substituting liberally and holding his runners as much as he could to keep the score down.
For Fischer, it's just a matter of working on basic fundamentals each time out and hoping the team gets stronger as the season progresses.
"Some of the things we've been teaching the girls is knowing what to do with the ball when you get it, and I think they're kind of over-thinking things and getting a little nervous on the field," Fischer said.
One thing St. Joe does have is a willingness to at least try. Team members were flashing smiles throughout the game and keeping up dugout chatter, knowing that they weren't the best team on the field.
"There's not another group of girls that play with more heart then these girls," Fischer said. "I've been telling them to keep their heads up. We didn't get it this time, we'll get it next time and we just strive for improvement.
"I don't care if we end up the season at 0-20 as long as these girls learn more about the fundamentals and play with heart."
For Rice, the game was a time to get players who don't see a lot of action some experience, and to keep coaching his team, whether it was about execution or the more intangible aspects of the game.
"I have been there as well," Rice said about St. Joe's inexperience. "You have to remember what that's like. There's a right way to play, and you want your kids doing that but you can also teach them other things about playing like sportsmanship and some of those things that I think sometimes get overlooked. You want to still teach what the importance of the game is."
CHESAPEAKE 936 -- 18 8 2
HUNTINGTON ST. JOE 100 -- 1 1 10
Macy Allen (3) and Kelsea Huff. Jennifer Sang and Kadin Gould.
Hitting: (C) Huff 2-3, 2B; Allen 2-3, 2 RBIs. (SJ) Sang RBI.