LISBON - It took 12 tries, but the United softball team is finally in the win column.
As the Golden Eagles battled rival Lisbon on Tuesday, the focus was better than ever as they took advantage of mistakes from the Blue Devils, along with RBIs from Tyler Buckius to pick up their first win of the season with a 5-1 victory at Dickey Athletic Complex.
"We knew that we had to keep our heads in it," Buckius said. "We had a problem with keeping focus, so we just kept on hitting."
The Golden Eagles are now 1-11 overall and 1-4 in the Inter-Tri County League upper tier courtesy of Buckius' four RBIs, including an RBI single in the first inning, which gave the Eagles the early 2-0 lead in the first inning, and kept control, which Buckius noted was a struggle for the team.
"We knew that we had to keep our heads in," Buckius said. "The last 11 losses were pretty bad, and somehow we end up losing our focus towards the end of the game."
The focus also continued for the Eagles on defense as Amanda Hall struck out three and walked one and, along with Buckius, was responsible for a double play in the sixth inning.
"I was thinking that we have to stay in this," Buckius said.
Despite the struggles this season, the Eagles weren't willing to give up, and neither was coach Ryan Burd, who kept telling the team not to quit.
"It just seemed like things just weren't going our way," Burd said. "I keep telling the girls 'Just keep coming out here everyday and plug away, and eventually the tides will turn'. Finally, last couple of games, we've been getting closer and closer and we were finally able to put it all together."
The Blue Devils (5-6, 3-4 ITCL) got the bats working throughout the game but with the exception of a sacrifice fly in the first inning from Kyrston Rose in to allow Haille Metzgar to score, they couldn't capitalize on their 12 hits.
"The pitches were very hitable, and we were very impatient at the plate," Lisbon coach Dave Crismon said. "We're not going to sit and not square it up and be consistent and put hits together, and they (United) just made plays."
Rose and Metzgar both had three hits in the game, and Metzgar struck out five and walked three on the mound before she was relieved by freshman C.J. Wallace in the sixth inning, who posted a strikeout of her own in the sixth inning.
"Our freshman came in, and she did a nice job," Crismon said. "She came in for two innings and pretty much shut them down."
Wallace came in when a nagging hip injury, along with a slight ankle injury following a collision with United's Elle Smith on the way to third base in the fifth inning, forced Metzgar to sit out of the sixth inning.
"Her hip was bothering her going in, so I'm sure that wasn't helping her," Crismon said. "We'll have her work with a trainer, and she how she does, and so tomorrow is a new day."
U: 2-0-3-0-0-0-0-5- 7-1
U-Amanda Hall, wp (7IP, 3K, 1BB) and Sydney Moats.
L-Haille Metzgar, lp (5IP, 5K, 3BB), C.J. Wallace (1IP, 1K, 1BB) and Devyn Flory.