After a disappointing 8-12 season a year ago, Ironwood Ridge softball coach Randy Anway has seen immediate improvement in this young campaign.
The Nighthawks have some good young hitters in the heart of their batting order.
"Robin Landrith is our third-place hitter," said Anway, in his eighth season. "Sarah Rodriguez is the cleanup hitter. Makayla McAdams hits well."
McAdams tripled in a 10-5 loss to Canyon Del Oro last Friday, while Rodriguez and Erin Satterfield each hit doubles.
"Pitching is the biggest concern," Anway said. "We hope our defense holds up."
The Nighthawks have three pitchers at this point, sophomore Makayla McAdams, freshman Sarah Rodriguez and sophomore Nicole Reidhead.
"We have a freshman and two sophomores," Anway said. "We need to get better command of our pitches."
Kataryna Banks is the lone senior.
"We're young and at times we show it," Anway said. Case in point was the recent loss to CDO.
"We stunk up defensively, which is not the norm," Anway said. The Nighthawks made six errors.
"We had 10 hits today, but two of theirs went over the fence (both by CDO's Kayla Bonstrom)."
At this point, Anway believes his team is making good strides, and the CDO loss was not typical of the way the team has played early in the year.
The prior week, the Nighthawks defeated Catalina Foothills 12-4, and won at Nogales, 26-0.
Satterfield homered against Foothills, while Jordan Rocker, Landrith and Banks all doubled.
In the win over Nogales, Rodriguez homered. Satterfield, Rachel Low, Landrith and Banks each hit doubles.
"We're in a tough region with teams like Salpointe and Buena," Anway said. "If you don't come to play on any given day, you're going to get beat.
"It's good for state," Anway said. "It better prepares us for competition. Hopefully, we'll continue to get better. That starts in practice."