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Lady Hornets take home opener against Hudson

Mar. 5—HUNTSVILLE — With new LED lights shining on the brand-new turf softball field, Huntsville battled Hudson for the first time on the turf.

Both squads had quiet bats for the early part of the game before Huntsville used a strong sixth inning to cruise to a win.

Huntsville left with a 9-0 win behind the strong night of seniors Jaelynn Duke, Katie VonRosenberg and Kali Klawinsky.

"It was a team win and I was proud of them for putting it together and making it happen," Huntsville softball coach Morgan Bryan said. "We started slow and it took us some time to make adjustments. The sixth inning was wonderful to watch them figure it out."

Huntsville's offense has been on a tear recently, but their bats arrived quiet tonight. Duke opened the game with a lead-off double, but Huntsville tacked on nothing more.

With one hit early, Huntsville had to shake some of their jitters out before things got going in the latter innings.

"I think a lot of it was jitters," Bryan said. "You have all these new things and everybody has invested in you. It was our first time. We didn't want to perform badly on our new turf."

Huntsville's bat did come alive though, despite it taking six innings. Huntsville batted around having its best inning of the game.

Klawinsky opened the frame with a single before getting moved over by her sister, Khole. With two outs, Huntsville had life.

Senior Rylie Hammond grabbed an infield single before freshman Angelique Hernandez hit another single. Huntsville rallied for six hits and six runs to blow the game open.

However, getting those runs was a good thing, making the adjustments was something Huntsville needed to do to get right.

"Just being able to make adjustments, we could have gotten frustrated but instead we sank in, settled into our fundamentals," Bryan said. "We came out on top in that situation. I am proud of us for settling down and focusing in."

Duke has been a member of the varsity squad all four years of her high school career and has grown into a big-time leader. With a commitment to Tarleton State Univerity, the senior is looking to have a strong year.

She got the start in the circle for Huntsville and pitched a complete game. Hudson sent 25 batters up to the plate in the seven innings, as Duke sent seven back on strikes.

At the plate, Duke went 2-2 in the game for a double and single before being intentionally walked in her last two at-bats.

Hudson snagged three hits but could not plate a run against Huntsville's ace.

Duke isn't the lone senior who has made an impact. VonRosenberg has been behind the plate for Duke and brings another bat to the lineup. In the home opener, VonRosenberg went 1-4 with two RBIs.

Kali Klawinsky added another two RBIs for Huntsville on one hit.

"We are looking at her to be a leader. I think that is the biggest thing for our seniors. We have six seniors in that situation. I want to see them step up and lead this season," Bryan said.

Huntsville is currently ranked fourth by the Texas Girls' Coaching Association and has lost three games this season.

The Lady Hornets squad has to remain focused with two more non-district games left before the second season starts.

"We need to make quicker adjustments. I don't feel like waiting that late will help us in the end," Bryan said. "We need to adjust quicker and make things happen. We need to stay focused and execute the things we do."

Huntsville will return to the Huntsville Baseball and Softball Complex for a 6 p.m. Friday night game against Jasper.