BROADVIEW HEIGHTS -- They made some errors, had some baserunning mistakes and they struggled to get the key hits.
The good news?
The Lady Black Tigers finally got to play on an actual dirt field.
The Cuyahoga Falls softball team fell to Suburban League National Conference rival Brecksville-Broadview Heights 7-0 in its season debut March 29 in Broadview Heights.
The Lady Bees improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the National Conference.
Brecksville finished with seven hits and three errors and left two runners on base. Falls had five hits and three errors and left nine players on base.
Despite seeing her team get shut out, Lady Black Tigers head coach Kim Applegarth was encouraged by her team's performance.
"I thought our hitting was good and our defense is a work in progress," she said. "This is the second time we've been on a field since Feb. 20. We've been in the gym most of the time."
Falls got zero runs despite having the bases loaded and one out in the fifth inning and runners on second and third with one out in the sixth.
The Lady Black Tigers also had a runner picked off at first base and another runner gunned down at third.
"We're going to be aggressive," Applegarth said.
The Lady Bees scored two runs in the second, three runs in the third and and one run apiece in the fourth and fifth innings.
Right-hander Addi Cave got the win in the pitcher's circle. She struck out four batters and walked one in five innings of work. Cave also led off the game with a home run over the fence in right-center field.
Center fielder Daria Demjamjuk had two singles and a run scored for Brecksville.
After Cave's homer made it 1-0, first baseman Stephanie Delroso gave the Lady Bees a 2-0 lead with a one-out sacrifice fly to right field.
Brecksville scored an unearned run in the third when a throw to first was dropped. The Lady Bees added two more runs in the third, thanks to their ability to take the extra base on relay throws to the plate.
Demjamjuk and left fielder Natalie Mau added run-scoring singles in the inning to make it 5-0.
Brecksville took advantage of another error to make it 6-0 in the fourth.
Third baseman Katie Williamson led off the inning with an infield single, went to second on an infield error and to third on a wild pitch.
Williamson eventually scored on a run-scoring ground out by right fielder Stephanie Zabak.
In the fifth, Delroso had a double off the fence in right field. Mau, who drew a one-out walk, went to third on Delroso's hit and wound up scoring the final run of the game when the throw from the outfield was cut off.
Center fielder Kyia Saxon led Falls with a double, a single and a walk. Right-handed pitcher Hailey Miles, who took the loss in the circle, had a single and a walk for the Lady Black Tigers.
Miles pitched the first three innings before being relieved by left-hander Tori Rogers in the fourth. Rogers finished the game.
Right-hander Kesley Jakosh pitched a scoreless sixth and right-hander Sarah Casper pitched a scoreless seventh for the Lady Bees.
Applegarth knows there may be some bumps in the road in the early stages of the season. She also believes her team is making significant progress despite its lack of time outside.
"We made some mistakes, but I'm pleased with where we're at," Applegarth said.
Falls was scheduled to visit National Conference rival Wadsworth March 30. Results were not available at press time.
The Lady Black Tigers are set to host National Conference foes Hudson April 3 and Nordonia April 4 before heading to Weddle Park for a National Conference showdown against Stow-Munroe Falls April 6.
Falls is scheduled to entertain Bainbridge Township Kenston April 7.
All four games are set to begin at 4:30 p.m.