LONGMONT -- Building a successful program doesn't happen over night. Or even in a single year.
With her first year winding down, however, Longmont softball coach Kaitlyn Gentert likes the direction her team is headed.
"We're getting a little better every day," she said. "Girls getting used to new coaches, new girls getting used to new coaches -- trying to build a program here that's been in a slump for a few years."
On Thursday, the Trojans were handed a 12-0 loss by visiting Mountain View, but even in defeat the Trojans focus on what went right.
Of course, a 12-0 loss included plenty of mistakes. The Trojans (6-11, 2-10 in the 4A Northern Conference) did have eight errors, and aside from senior centerfielder Jacy Neuhaus, they didn't have a hit.
This, however, is a season in which results don't matter as much as progress. Thursday's game showed some with the defense making a few great plays and the offense hitting the ball hard on occasion -- even if it was right to the Mountain View defense, which was nearly flawless, committing just one error.
"We're working on things defensively and learning how to be aggressive at the plate," Gentert said.
One player who had the aggressiveness going on Thursday was Neuhaus. She had struggled recently -- going 1-for-12 in the previous four games -- but went 3-for-3 with a double against the Mountain Lions (11-6, 7-5).
"It was good to finally get out of my little rut," she said. "(The double) was a nice hit. It was easy, too."
Despite her recent struggles, Neuhaus is now hitting .394 in the past 11 games.
"She's fun to watch out in the field. She can run anything down," Gentert said. "Wherever she's at (in the lineup), she's going to work hard. She's great."
Although the wins haven't come in bunches, the Trojans are seeing a lot of players put in the work that could eventually lead to success.
"We're trying to improve and do what we can," Neuhaus said. "I've had a lot of fun."
Having fun is part of the goal for this season, as Gentert works to boost the energy around her program.
"This is a big transition year for us," Gentert said. "We're going to take some hits, but we're constantly building forward and working on the positive.
"We knew this year would be rocky and we're going to build on it and go from there."
Brian Howell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mountain View 12, Longmont 0
At Longmont H.S.
Mtn. View (11-6, 7-5) 102 113 4 -- 12 13 1
Longmont (6-11, 2-10) 000 000 0 -- 0 3 8
W -- Mia Trujillo. L -- McKenzie Murray.
Mountain View hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) -- Madi Harrison 5-3-3-0, Heather Kuntz 5-3-2-1, Alyssa Morrison 5-2-2-2, Andrea Baumann 5-0-3-3, Gianna Melaragno 5-0-0-0, Ali Reed 4-0-2-0, Jerhen Montez 1-2-0-0, Taylor Seely, 3-0-0-0, Mia Trujillo 2-0-0-0, Kelli Hlushak 2-0-0-0, Courtney Baeckel 1-1-0-0, Kacey Uhlenbrock 3-1-1-0, Jaimie Medina 1-0-0-0. Totals 35-12-13-6. 2B -- Harrison, Morrison, Reed. 3B -- Kuntz. SB -- Kuntz, Morrison, Baumann, Hlushak.
Longmont hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) -- Jacy Neuhaus 3-0-3-0, Taryn Hargash 4-0-0-0, Lili Spendlow 1-0-0-0, McKenzie Murray 1-0-0-0, Jessica Thompson 0-0-0-0, Kelsea Loudenburg 2-0-0-0, Madeline Peterson 3-0-0-0, Kaiya Canar 3-0-0-0, Haley Schneider 3-0-0-0, Aly Aker 3-0-0-0. Totals 23-0-3-0. 2B -- Neuhaus. Sac -- Spendlow.
Mountain View pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Trujillo 4-2-0-0-2-7, Melaragno 3-1-0-0-3-2.
Longmont pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Murray 7-13-12-5-1-9.