AKRON — A lot of things have gone wrong for the Tallmadge softball team thus far.
The Blue Devils had to forfeit many of their wins due to an ineligible player and they also have been missing some key members at one point or another.
To top it all off, Tallmadge lost a pair of games that may have eliminated the Blue Devils from repeating as Suburban League American Conference champions.
Tallmadge won’t be able to change its forgettable past. So the Blue Devils’ only choice is to move forward.
That first step forward took place Monday.
The host Blue Devils improved to 7-13 overall and 5-3 in the Suburban League American Conference after earning a 4-0 victory over Kent Roosevelt at Firestone Stadium in Akron.
Yes, Tallmadge committed three errors. And yes, the Blue Devils continued to get key hits as they finished 2 for 12 with runners on base.
Nonetheless, Tallmadge first-year head coach Brittany Lightel believes her team is starting to see the light.
That heavenly vision seems to be taking place at the perfect time.
"I told them that I don’t have anything bad to say," Lightel said. "We didn’t leave as many runners on as we have in the past. We’re making improvements."
Having one of the most dominant pitchers on their side hasn’t exactly been a hindrance to the Blue Devils, either.
Senior ace Emily Pratt toyed with the Rough Rider hitters with an array of pitches. She finished with 12 strikeouts and issued three walks, while allowing just three hits in another complete-game gem.
Pratt had to work a little harder than normal, though. The pesky Roosevelt batters forced Pratt to throw 119 pitches.
However, the standout hurler, who got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fourth and a first-and-second, one-out scare in the sixth, finished the job as usual.
"We had great defense," Lightel said. "Emily threw fantastic and we made the plays in the field. As long as we stay solid there, the hits will come."
Tallmadge took advantage of a pair of errors to score its first run in the bottom of the first.
The Blue Devils added two more scores in the third.
Junior catcher Kennedy Rorar, who scored the first run and had three hits in three at-bats, made it 2-0 with a run-scoring single to right-center field.
The following batter, junior right fielder Gia Marfy, drove in another run with a sacrifice fly to center.
Pratt took matters into her own hands by ripping a run-scoring single to right-center to make it 4-0 in the sixth.
Tallmadge also gunned down a baserunner who tried to steal second on a well-placed throw by Rorar and a quick tag by junior shortstop Jordyn Severns.
The latter also shined on defense.
Severns robbed a pair of potential hits in the second with a nifty over-the-shoulder catch while running full speed and then made a diving catch on a looping liner to end the inning.
All told, the Blue Devils finished with eight hits and left five runners on base.
"We didn’t leave too many runners on and we capitalized when we needed to," Lightel said. "Obviously, I want to get more runs than that, but it will come."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, email@example.com or @FrankAceto_RPC.