Lady Dragons scorch Lady Cats late
‘I’m just at a loss right now.’
That’s what North Harrison softball coach Mark Lamon said after his team was taken apart by visiting Silver Creek on Thursday after staying close with Lady Dragons for six innings. Silver Creek had a seventh-inning explosion and shut down the Lady Cats, 9-2.
‘It’s back to the drawing board,’ Lamon said after the loss. ‘I thought we had really been working hard and had gotten over that, but we’re not being very disciplined.’
North Harrison went scoreless the first three innings, while the Lady Dragons put two on the board in the top of the second. Kelsey Snell led off with a double and stole third. Dana Shields went to first on a third-strike catching error, with Snell getting the run. Kira Gibson grounded to first, but another error allowed Shields to run the bases and score, giving Silver Creek a 2-0 lead.
Neither team scored in the third inning, and Silver Creek blanked out in the top of the fourth.
In the bottom of the fourth, Brittany Rudolph was given a free base on a Lady Dragons’ error, and Makaila Bruner came in to run. Abby Bozynski was hit by a pitch. With one out, Alaina Sears grounded out, but Bruner found her way around the bases and put North Harrison on the board with a run.
‘We’re just not swinging at good pitches,’ Lamon said. ‘We’ve been working with them a lot on hitting and trying to be a little more selective with what they’re hitting, and we’re still chasing bad pitches. We’re swinging at two bad pitches and watching a third strike go down the middle of the plate.’
Silver Creek got that run back in the top of the fifth inning. Shields reached on another Lady Cats’ error. With two outs, Baylee Miller singled to score Shields, and the Lady Dragons’ lead was 3-1.
In the top of the fifth inning, Jourdan McAfee reached first on a Silver Creek error. Kodi House hit into a fielder’s choice, as McAfee was forced out. House went to second on a passed ball and scored when Kaylin Bright smacked a single. Rudolph also singled, and the pair went to second and third, respectively, on the throw in. That was as far as they would go, however, as Bozynski struck out to end the inning with the Lady Cats down 3-2.
North Harrison had runners in scoring position in the bottom of the sixth inning but failed to convert those to tighten the game even more.
Then came an onslaught by the Lady Dragons in the top of the seventh. Hailey Dorman walked, then courtesy runner Jordan Belz scored when Shields ripped a double. Gibson got on by way of an error, then Kami Pennington loaded the bases with a bunt single.
An infield single scored Shields, and Lamon went to pitcher Lacie Smith for help. Abby Whitlock immediately slapped a single to score Gibson. Scorbrough singled to score two runs as Miller and Pennington crossed the plate. Hanna Money ripped another single, scoring Whitlock, but Scorbrough got caught in a rundown for an out. That was followed by two more outs as Silver Creek’s lead ballooned to 9-2.
In the bottom half of the inning, North Harrison only managed a single base runner and fell by the seven-run margin.
‘We kept holding them and holding them, but, every time we get runners in scoring position, we’re chasing bad pitches,’ Lamon said. ‘When you’re trying to hit their pitches instead of trying to hit what you’re looking for, we’re not going to be very successful.’
North Harrison finished with just four hits, all singles. Pitcher Grace Sims struck out six, walked one and hit one Silver Creek batter. The Lady Cats committed three errors and left eight runners on base.
Silver Creek finished with eight hits for the game, with Miller hitting on twice. Laci Pierce struck out three and hit three North Harrison batters, while Snell, in relief, struck out two, walked one and hit one Lady Cat.
‘They made the plays when they needed to and they had clutch hits, where we left runners on base several times in scoring position,’ Lamon said, ‘and put a bunch more runs on the board to put the pressure on them. But, instead, it was bad pitch selection on our hitters.’
‘We’ll come back out tomorrow and work hard and really focus on hitting our pitches and pitch selection and get a lot of swings in,’ he said. ‘That’s all we can do.’
Silver Creek 020 010 6 ‘ 9 8 3
North Harrison 000 110 0 ‘ 2 4 3
W ‘ Pierce (3-2), L ‘ Sims (4-4).
2B ‘ Snell (SC), Shields (SC).
Records: Silver Creek 8-3, North Harrison 5-8.