The St. Clair softball team suffered some early-season growing pains at the Union tournament.

The Lady Bulldogs dropped all three games of the tourney on Saturday at the Union Sports Complex.

In the tourney opener, Washington knocked off St. Clair, 21-0. Liberty (Wentzville) topped St. Clair, 6-5, and then Borgia beat the Bulldogs, 16-0, for seventh place.

St. Clair Coach Garan McCuskey said the tournament gave him a good idea of what his team needs to work on.

“Overall, we need to be more fundamentally sound at every position,” McCuskey said. “We need to recognize and limit these mistakes. I used the Union tournament to get a look at some girls in different positions to find some good fits. I look for improvement every practice from every player.  We need to improve on our pitching as well, as we had way too many walks. Our girls have to throw and practice pitching during the season and out of season.”

McCuskey said there were some positives.

“I was really pleased to see some good plate appearances,” he said. “Our girls were patient at the plate and had some very good at-bats with limited strikeouts. We just couldn’t get many runners on base and put anything together.”

McCuskey said senior catcher Sarah Hinson did a great job behind the plate. 

“She caught two of our three games with the break coming in the second game due to the heat,” he said.

Hinson had two hits on the day and classmate Tori Martin had three hits in seven at-bats.

“Freshman pitcher Kate George did a great job throwing strikes,” McCuskey said. “She threw our second game.” She may not throw the hardest, but she has good control. That’s what we are looking for.”

In three games, the Lady Bulldogs had 13 hits and scored five runs.

St. Clair’s best shot for a win came against Liberty.

Liberty led 6-1 before St. Clair rallied for four runs in the final two innings. But they weren’t enough.

Reagan Hartenberger earned the win for Liberty, allowing just two earned runs and three hits. Kelly Anderson, Taylor Thompson and Haley Sante had RBIs for Liberty.

St. Clair hosts Borgia on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.