There have been good times and bad times for the Tates Creek softball team this season.
Tuesday fell into the latter category.
Fleming County sophomore Megan Claypoole tossed a 16-strikeout no-hitter, dealing the Lady Commodores a 1-0 home-field defeat.
Morgan Fern drove in the only run of the game with a fourth-inning sacrifice fly.
A fourth straight loss dropped Tates Creek's record to 15-16. But a 4-1 win over Lafayette, which came just before the current losing streak, has the Creekers thinking positive as district tournament play approaches next week.
"After beating Lafayette, I think that if we want something that we're able to do it," senior pitcher Bree Garner said. "As long as everyone's focused on the game, ... we have a strong bond. We can do what we're trying to get to if it's a tough team."
Garner, who pitched seven innings all of last season, has pitched every inning for the Creekers this year.
Tuesday, she gave up one unearned run on four hits, walking one and striking out one.
"She's done remarkable for somebody who's pitched every game, and we've leaned on her quite a bit," first-year coach Gary Preece said. "We have a good blend of some older girls and some younger girls, but our younger girls really didn't have a lot of experience until this year. So it's been sort of what I expected. Some good days and bad days.
"Just looking to play more consistent as we head towards the district tournament. We have shown promise of playing well. It's just that day-to-day, being consistent is their issue. We'll go through a couple games, play really well, and then we'll go through a couple games and struggle. That's just a sign of youth. But overall it's been a good year."
Preece started five sophomores Tuesday.
One of the sophomores, middle infielder Kendall Fields, leads the team with a .483 batting average. She missed three weeks because of a kneecap injury, but returned to the lineup this week.
Fields sees Tuesday's loss as somewhat of a blip on the radar.
"We usually hit the ball better," she said. "We play good defense, but we've just got to get our bats going."
Another sophomore, Bree Whitson, splits time between catching and playing third base. Preece calls her "my biggest surprise this year."
"She has eight home runs on the year, leads the team in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, RBI," Preece said. "... Having a really good year."
Mary Carter Downing, a junior middle infielder, is getting looks from some colleges, Preece said.
"She struggled a little bit with the bat last year, coming off an ACL injury," he said. "This year she's batting like .390. She's had a really good bounce-back year, and really, really solid glove. She's probably the best defensive player on my team."
Now, the Commodores hope to get back on track and do some damage in the district tourney.
"I think that since we know we can beat Lafayette that we can do it," Fields said. "And we know that we can do anything as long as we just stay focused and know what we want."