Raiders fall shy against LoogooteeApril 14, 2021
By COREY STOLZENBACH
HUNTINGBURG - Opportunities presented themselves to Southridge softball on Wednesday against Loogootee, but the team didn't always cash in.
Coach Jason Songer of the Raiders (4-4) told the Herald after Tuesday's 3-1 loss to Jasper that they needed to put the ball in play, and while they did a better job of that in their 7-5 loss to the Lions, it was also tough for him to see them strand a lot of runners in scoring position.
"I think we left seven or eight runners in scoring position," Songer said. "The good stat on that is we had girls putting the ball in play and were aggressive. I think we let their pitcher (senior Isabelle Waggner) off the hook by swinging at some pitches that we didn't need to be. So, we just need to know when to call it off."
Southridge made multiple position changes from Tuesday's loss to the Wildcats to this one against Loogootee.
Sophomore Claire Lanman and junior Mikah Goeppner switched positions from the day before — where Lanman went from third base to catcher, and Goeppner went to the hot corner.
Junior Myah Montgomery has seen action in the circle for the Raiders this year, and relieved on Wednesday but she started at left field for this one, while fellow junior Maddy Songer was given the ball in the circle to open Wednesday’s game.
In the first at-bat of the game,
Loogootee sophomore Kyleigh Courter lined a comebacker right at Maddy, getting a piece of her. Afterward, the hurler had a challenge locating her pitches, and fell behind some of her batters.
"We coud tell she wasn't the same Maddy Songer," Jason said. "I could tell looking out on the mound. After that comebacker, I think it got in her head a little bit. She'll come back, she'll have a good outing. It just wasn't her night tonight."
The Lions capitalized in the top of the third, as Maddy issued back-to-back one-out walks that would come back to haunt the Raiders. Courter’s RBI double brought in senior Sara Street to get Loogootee on the board first.
Jason relieved Maddy of her duties, and went to sophomore second baseman Emily Ferguson to take over in the circle. Junior Kylie Evans came into the game to take over at second.
The ball got away on a pitch, and senior Jaelyn Walker and Courter scored to give Loogootee two more runs for a 3-0 lead.
Southridge managed to respond in the bottom of the third, though, as Ferguson and Maddie both got into scoring position. Senior Kennedy Nalley made contact on a ball that deflected off the glove of Waggner, scoring Ferguson to get the Raiders on the board, but they couldn’t pull closer.
They did, however, get closer in the bottom of the fourth that began with senior Briley King’s leadoff double. Junior Emma Marley’s sacrifice bunt brought her to 60 feet away from scoring, and with two outs, sophomore Ally Buening didn’t get all of it, but got a piece near the third base line that dropped fair to score King for a one-run game. However, the Raiders could not tie or take the lead by stranding two runners in scoring position, and was a 3-2 deficit.
Southridge tried for a different strategy in the bottom of the fourth. The Raiders had Lanman at second and Nalley at first with nobody out, but rather than having Goeppner dropped down a bunt, she swung — making contact, and took first on a fielder’s choice, as Lanman was out at third. King moved Nalley and Goeppner over, but Marley could bring them in.
Loogootee separated itself from Southridge in the top of the sixth when it scored four runs. Ferguson and Montgomery switched spots during the top of the sixth, as Ferguson came to left and Montgomery took the circle. However, Lingenfelter had an RBI single to give the Lions an insurance run, and then things got away from the Raiders.
A wild pitch, followed by a passed ball, scored a couple. A bunt from Carrico scored Lingenfelter, and Carrico was safe at first for a 7-2 Lions lead. The Raiders totaled three errors in the loss.
"I don't think the moves had so much to do with the errors as the lack of attention to detail, and just lack of focus," Jason said. "I thought we were a little flat starting out the game, coming off of a big rival game with Jasper. It's something we talked about - not being flat, and I think we came out flat, and I just bit us in the butt a little bit."
Southridge tried to get back in it, and scored multiple runs for the first time in an inning in the bottom of the sixth. The Lions committed an error in the outfield off an at-bat from Lanman that scored Buening and Ferguson to bring the game to its final score.
Southridge will try to get back in the win column Thursday at Pocket Athletic Conference rival Washington.
"I think we need to put a full game together," Jason said. "We played very well defensively against Jasper, but didn't hit the ball so well. I thought we struck the ball well today, but didn't play so well defensively. So, tomorrow, we're going to look to do both.
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