BLOOMFIELD — It took 18 games last summer for the Davis County softball team to earn three wins.
This season, it's taken just four games for the Mustangs to score a trio of wins. It marked the first time in six years that Davis County walked onto a diamond with a winning record.
Despite the early-season success, there are still going to be some roadblocks that the Mustangs will have to overcome during the course of this summer. Two obstacles, No. 13 (3A) Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont and Wayne, proved to be too much for Davis County as EBF earned an 11-5 South Central Conference win on Monday while the Wayne earned a 6-0 non-conference win on Tuesday highlighted by a four-hit complete-game shutout pitched by freshman Sterling Berndt.
"We're doing a better job of putting at-bats together, but we're running into a pretty good string of pitchers this week," Davis County head softball coach Zach Dunlavy said. "We had (Reina) Taylor from EBF on Monday. Berndt's a very good, young pitcher. Next up, we have (No. 6 3A) Albia on Thursday. Everybody knows what we have there with Jena Lawrence.
"It's a tough string, but I think it's going to make us a better team as we go forward. We just have to make better adjustments and, hopefully, we'll turn things back around."
Faith Roberts homered and drove in three runs to lead EBF on Monday. Taylor, Emma Lenox and Rylee German all had three hits for the Rockets, which used a five-run sixth inning to take a 9-0 lead.
Taylor allowed one earned run and struck out six to pick up the win. Sophia Young had two hits and drove in two runs for the Mustangs.
"We're really young. In our starting lineup, we have two seniors. The rest are eighth-graders and freshmen," Dunlavy said. "We're still trying to catch up to the speed of the game somewhat. We've got a lot of young kids with a lot of talent and excellent attitudes. It's just a matter of making those mental adjustments."
Wayne (5-0) jumped ahead in the opening inning on an RBI single by Emily Jones, scoring Berndt to put the Falcons up 1-0. Madeline Barker, Davis County's eighth-grade pitcher, rallied back by striking out Mya Willey before forcing Bayleigh Kellis to pop out on the infield. Barker shut out Wayne over the next two innings, forcing Maddy Wood into an inning-ending pop out with two on in the second before striking out Jaide Harvey with the bases loaded in the third.
"The young girls have definitely stepped up this season. I'm proud of them," Shelby Motykowski, one of Davis County's two seniors, said. "It's definitely a step up for us the way we've played before. It gets it us pretty pumped up that we've already accomplished so much."
Ashton Madden collected a pair of hits for the Mustangs, who will continue a busy week hosting Albia on Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. Davis County then heads to Knoxville on Friday and will compete at EBF's tournament on Saturday.
"It took us practically all year last season to have the type of success we've already had in the first few weeks," Dunlavy said. "We've been doing better. Our pitching has been really good. We do need to be a little more efficient and make a few more defensive plays. We're still building and we've got girls that are still getting comfortable playing certain positions, but we'll get there as the year goes on."