BROOKVILLE — A horrible defensive start to the game was too much to overcome as the Brookville Lady Raiders softball team dropped its second game to Clarion in less than a week in a 7-6 loss at Northside Field on Senior Day Tuesday.
Five errors in the first two innings paved the way for five unearned runs and a quick 5-1 deficit after two innings. However, the Lady Raiders did battle back to within one run before stranding the potential tying run at third in the bottom of the seventh.
“It was very frustrating at the beginning and very satisfying at the end,” Lady Raiders head coach Carl McManigle said. “The only thing we missed out on was getting the ‘W’ today. But as I told the girls, we can’t give a team six errors in the first four innings and expect to come back and win. It’s hard to do. We were 60 feet from tying it and we didn’t get that clutch hit, which we normally have throughout the year.
“Overall, I was happy with the perf of the girls in the second half of the game for sure.”
Two infield errors in the first three Clarion batters of the game set up Maya Thornton’s two-run triple. In the second inning, three more errors allowed three more unearned runs to cross the plate.
While the Lady Cats didn’t score again until the sixth, the Lady Raiders chipped away at the self-inflicted deficit. Marcy Schindler was hit by a pitch in the first inning and took advantage of three wild pitches by starter Kaitlyn Constantino to score.
Brookville missed on a chance to score a run in the third on Lauren Hergert’s flyout to center, but Schindler was unable to tag up in time to advance to home.
In the fourth, three walks and a bloop single by Kennedy Gilbert allowed the Lady Raiders to cut it to 5-3. Schindler’s bases-loaded walk scored Abby Sunealits and Carlie McManigle’s groundout pushed home Gilbert.
Then in the top of the sixth, Clarion added two valuable insurance runs, putting four singles together with another Brookville error to plate two more runs.
Clarion’s No. 1 pitcher Sadie Rudesyle relieved Constantino in the fifth inning after Constantino walked seven Lady Raiders in four innings and after retiring Brookville in order in the fifth, she ran into some trouble in the sixth.
Sunealitis walked and Gilbert doubled before Hannah Kirkwood crushed a Rudesyle offering for a rare over-the-fence home run at Northside to cut it to 7-6.
“That’s the first girl I’ve seen from Brookville hit one out of here and I’ve been involved with the program the last six or seven years,” McManigle said.
Jordan MacWilliams singled with one out in the seventh and was allowed to advance to second on an obstruction call on an overthrow and she moved to third on a groundout before Sunealitis popped out to first to end the game.
“We were a few feet too shy, but we put ourselves in the hole,” McManigle said. “It didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to, but it was a good ballgame.”
The Lady Raiders, who dropped to 8-8, visit Punxsutawney Wednesday tonight at 7 p.m.
Prior to the game, the Lady Raiders recognized their five seniors in Maggie Miller, Kirkwood, MacWilliams, and Kennedy and Madison Gilbert.