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Jackie Kelm receives a pitch during Mustang's scrimmage against Southmoore last week. (Staff Photo by: Shelly Holinsworth)

By: Trey Hunter Staff Writer Mustang Times Mustang dropped it’s only loss of scrimmage week to Southmoore on Thursday, serving as a clear measuring stick for the upcoming season according to new coach, Bryan Howard.

“It lets you know where you’re at and how you can get better,” he said. “Southmoore is the defending champ and the team to beat.”

The Lady Broncos fell 5-2, but left 10 runners on base over seven innings. Mustang had problems pushing runners in at the Yukon Scrimmage Festival last week as well, something Howard thinks the team must improve on as the season approaches.

“The biggest thing that’s hurting us is that we’re not scoring early,” he said. “They’re getting closer to understanding what we do and the aggressiveness at this level. Our young ones aren’t being aggressive enough early. They will. They started getting after it in the fourth and I don’t think that’s because the pitcher changed. They just got a little more aggressive.”

Mustang starter, Jayden Chestnut, retired the side to start the game, however, gave up two runs in the second and had trouble getting ahead in counts. She would bounce back, shutting Southmoore down until the Sabercats opened their lead with a three-run, fifth inning.

That’s when Mustang came alive. The Lady Broncos looked more aggressive at the plate in the final two frames, pushing across a pair of runs to tighten the deficit. Although it wasn’t enough to comeback, their late rally proved the team is just a few steps away from one of the state’s powerhouse teams.

“Once we get about 10-15 games in, you will see a completely different team,” Howard said. “We start five freshmen and when they come up I’m 100 percent confident they will hit. We just have to pick better pitches and be a little more aggressive as we go at it.”

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