Saint Mary’s softball won three of their first four games this season by the 10 run rule. Their district opener against LaSalle exposed their youth. The girls dropped that game by the 10-run rule losing 11-0 against a perennial contender with more experience and seasoned players. The ladies dropped three more non-district games before returning to their winning ways, again by the 10-run rule beating Avoyelles 16-1.
That victory was the beginning of a five-game win streak including a whipping of Northwood-Lena 20-1 and a splendid performance at the Grace Christian tournament. At that event, the Lady Tigers beat Glenmore 15-5, Dunham 15-5 and Family Community 10-5. After seven games away, Saint Mary’s returned home March 23 to play Logansport in continued district action.
The teams held each other scoreless through four innings with T. Burton handling pitching duties. In the top of the fifth, Logansport scores on a single and adds another run on a throwing error to first. Logansport adds another base runner and has runners on first and second with two outs when the next batter hit a double over short. Logansport up three-nil with runners in scoring position when the next batter goes down swinging.
Two runners left on the base path for Logansport and Saint Mary’s comes to the plate in the bottom of the fifth frame. Haylee Tousek gets on with a hit to deep center. Saint Mary’s has a base runner, but the next two batters are retired, one with a fly out and the other strikes out. With two outs, the next batter reaches base and the runner scores on an error at first. A fly ball to center field follows but is caught on a diving play to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Logansport’s leadoff hitter grounds out. That is followed by a double to left. St. Mary’s has a pitching change going to Grace Wren on the rubber. She strikes out the first batter she faces then gives up a blooper hit that puts runners on the corners and Logansport scores one. So, with two outs, a controversial call ends the inning. The runner at first is called out on rule 7.13 which states, “when a pitcher is in the eight-foot radius circle, the base runner shall not leave their base until the pitched ball has been released.” After some haggling between umpires and Logansport coaching staff, the inning ends with Logansport leading 4-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, Anna Grace Mabile goes down swinging and the next batter beat out a throw to first. Wren battles a full count to get on first with a base on balls. Tyonnah Burton hits a sac fly that puts runners in scoring position for the next batter who hits a double, scoring two. With the tying run on second, Saint Mary’s gets a solid hit but it is right to the center fielder for the out. In the top of the seventh, Logansport adds two insurance runs. SMH Lady Tigers trail 6-3 in the bottom of the seventh.
The first batter strikes out swinging. Fly ball to center field for out two. A single follows over the first base line. With two outs, one on base and hope fading, Mabile knocks a triple to right field and then scores on the throwing error that follows. Saint Mary’s adds two runners and pulls to within one run. A ground out ends the inning and game in a close contest for the young team.
Coach Stephen Wren said, “We are young and that shows at times but I’m really proud of how we continued to play hard. We are learning every game and getting better in the process.” Indeed, they are learning and when the bats are favorable, they are a scoring machine. The tough district loss to Logansport was followed by a 15-0 victory over 4-A Washington Marion. The next district action for the softball team will be on the road at Montgomery.