MURRAY Tuesday's rivalry game against Cyprus did not start the way Murray pitcher Taylor Gallegos hoped.
The second Pirate batter got on base with a Murray fielding error and then Cyrpus' third batter, Brandi Lovato, smacked a home run over the left field fence.
"That shook me up a little," said Gallegos after the Spartans earned a decisive victory 12-2 against the Pirates. "But I just had to keep my confidence up ... I couldn't worry about it."
How does a freshman pitcher shake off giving up a home run in the first inning? With a little help from her friends.
"My teammates keep me up," said Gallegos, whose throwing got stronger as the game progressed. "Especially Monica (Moffitt, the catcher). She just talks to me."
She said the worst thing a pitcher can do is dwell on one bad pitch.
"It will just bring the team down," she said.
Moffitt reminded Gallegos there was a lot of softball left to play.
"I told her that was nothing," said the senior. "It was the first inning."
Good advice as it turns out. Lyndi Miller helped ease Gallegos' mind when she hit a three-run home run over the centerfield fence in the bottom of the same inning.
Both players said they love facing a tough squad like Cyprus, and falling behind from the get-go just made it a more challenging game.
"We want to play competitive games," said Moffitt. "It's more fun to play against tougher teams. We actually have something to work for."
Murray coach Lisa Parker was pleased with how her team responded to the rough start.
"I'm pretty proud of the way they contained their hitters after that," Parker said. "I thought (Gallegos) got stronger as the game went on ... I'm glad that was all we gave them."
In addition to Gallegos throwing well, the Spartans also performed well at the plate.
"It was a fun game," said Parker. "I felt pretty good about our hitters. It wasn't anything big, just base hits and pushing runners in. And everyone contributed."
The defense of both teams made some nice plays, but Cyprus centerfielder Chelsi Jenkins played particularly well for the Pirates, grabbing four fly balls in the loss.Besides the home runs, the only other extra-base hit was by Murray sophomore Andy Jorgensen in the first inning. She also hit a single in the fourth inning that drove in two runs.