September 22, 2005

Lady Tigers Can’t Avoid Big Innings at NCMC Tourney

“Bad inning syndrome” is not an actual disease, but recently the Scotland County softball team has been suffering with the affliction. The symptoms reared their ugly heads again on Saturday as the Lady Tigers went 0-3 in the North Central Missouri College softball tourney held in Trenton.

“It’s been something that we’ve been struggling with all season long,” said coach Terri Slaughter. “As a whole we’ve played some pretty good softball, but we seem to have that one bad inning that prevents us from getting the results we want.”

Despite going winless in the three contests, Slaughter said overall she was pleased with her team’s performance.

“When you take a look at the team’s in our pool, there is some awfully good competition,” she said. “We went up against some pretty good softball teams from several schools that are much larger than ours. We didn’t bring home any wins, but we held our own.”

Scotland County opened the tourney against Smithville, which wasted little time opening a 5-0 lead in the opposition’s first at bat. The deficit could have been larger if left fielder Andrea Shelley had not robbed Smithville of a home run with a juggling catch at the fence.

SCR-I battled back. Kirsten Johnston was hit by a pitch and came around to score in the bottom of the inning. The Lady Tigers trimmed the deficit to 6-2 in the fourth inning when Jessica Bair had a base hit and later came around to score.

The Lady Tigers nearly made the comeback complete in the sixth inning. Jamie Fuller started the rally with a double. She scored on a double off the bat of Ali Fromm. Kellyn Wickert plated her with a base knock and she scored on a double by Deidra Dochterman to make the score 6-5. But the tying run was stranded at third base to end the threat.

Hurler Karra Small struggled with what coach Slaughter called one of the most difficult strike zones of the year. The questionable umpiring squeezed Small into a season high seven walks, four of which fueled the huge first inning outpouring. Small allowed just six hits and struck out 10.

Raytown South continued the one bad inning theme for SCR-I as the Cardinals plated six runs in the second inning to best the Lady Tigers 7-3.

Scotland County plated its runs courtesy of a triple by Wickert on a drive that one-hopped the fence. She knocked in Johnston, Fuller and Dochterman who had all reached on base hits.

Small took the loss despite allowing just four hits and four walks while fanning eight.

The final game of the event was a 6-2 loss to Moberly.

The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Johnston led off with a base knock. She stole second and third. After a walk to Fromm, Dochterman delivered an RBI hit. Wickert followed with a single to plate Fromm.

The Spartans cut the lead to 2-1 in the second and tied the game in the fourth before blowing the contest open with a big fifth inning rally for four runs.

Small struck out nine while limiting Moberly to just five hits and four walks.

SCR-I appeared to run out of gas, managing just two base runners in the games final six innings. That’s understandable considering the girls boarded the bus for Trenton at 7:00 a.m. and did not pull back into town until 11:30 p.m.

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