September 22, 2005

Rally Falls Short For Lady Tigers In 6-5 Loss to Milan

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Unfortunately for Scotland County it doesnít count in softball. The Lady Tigers left the tying run stranded just 60-feet away on third base foiling an improbable rally and allowing Milan to escape with a 6-5 victory.

The two teams locked up in a pitchersí dual early on. The Wildcats jumped out to an early 1-0 lead and threatened to make the advantage larger before Karra Small pitched out of the jam with runners on second and third.

The Lady Tigersí hurler settled down after that and retired 10 batters in a row at one stretch as the 1-0 deficit held up.

SCR-I threatened in the fourth inning. Deidra Dochterman drew a two-out walk and Kellyn Wickert delivered a base hit but the two runners were stranded.

The Lady Tigers finally got to Milanís Caitlin Essmyer in the fifth inning. With one out, Andrea Shelley singled. She went to third on a double by Kirsten Johnston. Jamie Fuller delivered a sacrifice fly to center field. Milan threw home trying to get Shelley and when the throw got away from the catcher, Johnston motored all the way around from second to put her team on top 2-1.

But the lead was short lived as the Lady Tigersí patented ďbad inningĒ reared its ugly head in the top of the sixth inning. The Wildcats loaded the bases with three straight hits, forcing SCR-I to bring the defense in for a play at the plate.

Despite never getting a ball out of the infield, Milan took a 3-2 lead with back-to-back slow rollers that allowed the Milan runners to beat the throws to the plate.

Scotland County looked poised to get out of the jam with minimal damage. Ali Fromm threw the next runner out at the plate before Jamie Fuller recorded the second out, ranging into foul territory to snag a pop out.

But Sam Shaw delivered a clutch two-out triple that cleared the bases and put Milan on top 6-2.

It proved to be less of a knock-out punch than the Wildcats would have liked. SCR-I came to the plate for its final at bats down by four.

Lacey Jack got the crowd back into the contest with a leadoff single. Valerie Oldham followed with a double before Shelley delivered an RBI single to trim the deficit to 6-3.

Johnston looped a base hit between three Milan defenders to cut the lead to 6-4 before an RBI ground out by Fromm brought SCR-I to within one run.

But Johnston was stranded at third allowing Milan to escape with the 6-5 win.

Small took the loss on the hill. She gave up six runs on nine hits while striking out six.

Shelley and Dochterman each reached base twice to lead the SCR-I offense and Johnston had a pair of hits.

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