by Noah Allison
RBI Softball Shows Promise Against Defending Regional Champs
Although the Indianapolis RBI softball team fell to Cleveland 6-3 in their opening match of the Regional Tournament, the environment was that of a victory. For an Indianapolis softball program that has struggled in the previous years of the Regional Tournament, hanging with Cleveland, the defending regional champions, helped cement that progress has been made and success is just around the corner.
“Today was one of the best games I think we’ve played defensively and offensively. It started off really well and this is the best we’ve played against this team so I’m really proud of how we played,” centerfielder Charlesiana Johnson said.
In the past Indianapolis has been outmatched by the girls from Cleveland, but on Friday morning it was anybody’s game. The game was tied 2-2 through the first four innings as the teams exchanged tough defensive stops. Eventually the depth of Cleveland proved too much but even after going down 6-2 Indy was still able to score a run and keep hope alive to the end.
“I think we kept up with them, even though they are the defending champs I think we gave them a run for their money. I think we did really well. And we cut the score in half from last year. Last year we lost by six and this year three, we had them. We had it going on,” third basemen Monika Nance said.
While skill, hustle and effort were prevalent for Indy RBI, the ladies attribute their improved play to the comradery and positivity they have on the team.
“Positivity plays a major role in softball because once you have a negative energy people start to fumble and to make errors so positivity plays a major part,” pitcher Jas’ne Patton said.
“How loud we were in the dugout really helped. Everyone was so positive for each other and it was great,” Nance continued.
Despite the moral victory it was still a loss in their first game of the regional tournament. The girls know that they have what it takes to improve their status and hopefully see Cleveland for a rematch in the regional championship, in order to do that they need to keep their focus and stay hungry.
“We didn’t expect to play so well today so we are pretty pumped up and we just need to carry that energy into the next game. Confidence wise, skills wise we know what we have to do; we have our talks before the game so we just have to carry that same energy,” Johnson concluded.
“I want us to be represented in a way where people stop doubting us because this is going to be a different year.”