MARIENVILLE - Tidioute Charter opened the 2011 high school softball season on a cold day Tuesday.
But the Bulldogs' bats were red hot.
East Forest's, too.
In the end, East Forest held on for a frantic 22-21 win, but Tidioute coach Jackie Nuttal was "very happy" with the team's improvement over last year's 1-8 season.
"The girls' bats were definitely alive tonight," said Nuttal. "This is the best they've ever hit in the four years I've been with them."
Loralee Lindemuth and Anna Lindemuth combined to go 6-for-8 with seven runs scored, and Jen Buckley finished 4-for-5 for TCCS (0-1). Loralee Lindemuth had a double, triple, home run, walked twice and scored five runs.
Nuttal said the pitching and defense should settle down, but hopes the bats do not.
She said a good gauge of how far the team has come will come the next time these two teams meet.
"I'm very happy with this one-run loss," she said.
TCCS (21): Shields ss 6-1-1, Hallas p-1b 4-3-1, York 1b-p 4-4-2, L. Lindemuth 4-5-3, Lester lf 4-2-2, A. Burris 2b 4-1-2, Buckley cf 5-2-4, Johnson rf 0-0-0, Kitelinger fp 3-1-0, A. Lindemuth c-lf 4-2-3. Totals 38-21-18.
EAST FOREST (22): Harriger p 5-3-2, Armstrong ss 6-2-3, Kahle c 3-3-1, Ellis 1b 4-3-4, McLaughlin 3b 4-2-1, Minich 2b 3-3-2, Botzer cf 4-1-3, Luga lf 1-1-1, Motter lf 2-1-1, Schill rf 1-3-0. Totals 33-22-18.
TCCS 012 733 5 - 21 18
East Forest 111 (14)23 x - 22 18
2b-A. Lindemuth (T) 2, L. Lindemuth (T), York (T), Ellis (E) 2. 3b-L. Lindemuth (T), Botzer (E).HR-L. Lindemuth (T), Ellis (E). WP-L. Harriger. LP-York.