Missed opportunities hurt Pine in loss

Published 6:00 am Friday, March 29, 2013

Pine struggled with getting timely hits and committed several errors in a 7-1 loss to Pope John Paul II’s Lady Jaguars on the road Tuesday.

Pine (4-9), which was 1-7 in district at press time, had runners on base every inning, but Lady Jaguar pitcher Ashley Saucier did a nice job of working out of jams. The Lady Raiders left 14 runners on with eight being stranded in scoring position. Pine left the bases loaded in the second-and-sixth innings.

Saucier went the distance allowing just three hits, while striking out eight, walking five and hitting eight batters.

The hits she allowed included Sierra Miley’s double and Taylor Miller along with Kayla Temples singled.

“It was tough,” Saucier said. “I had to work through the walks. I had a lot of those (five), but we worked through and I knew I had the defense behind me (no errors).”

Defensively, Pine committed five errors over the first four innings, which was when Pope John Paul II (11-3, 6-1) tallied all of its runs.

Pine pitcher Dakota Thomas fought through the miscues, allowing just two earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts, six walks and three hit batters.

The Lady Jaguars tallied the game’s first run in the opening frame. With Rachel Edwards on third base and two outs, K.K. Battistella hit a groundball that turned into an error and allowed the game’s first run to cross and PJP led 1-0.

It remained that way until the fourth when PJP put up two more. Molly Edwards was hit and stole second. Following a strikeout, Rachel Edwards reached on a dropped pop up by the catcher. With runners on second and third, Saucier drove in a run with a sacrifice bunt to make it 2-0 before Battistella’s RBI double extended the lead to 3-0.

PJP continued to add runs in the fourth, scoring four times on three hits, while taking advantage of two errors and sending 10 hitters to the plate.

Brittany Chetta began by singling to center, but the ball got by the fielder and rolled to the fence. Chetta raced all of the way around and scored to give her team a 4-0 lead.

Bridgette Brouillette then reached on an error before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Molly Edwards was hit. Following a strikeout, Rachel Edwards beat out a bunt single. With the bases loaded, Saucier widened PJP’s lead with a two-run single up the middle and it was 6-0.

Later, Chloe Bryar coaxed an RBI walk for a 7-0 lead.

Pine cleaned up the defensive side. The Lady Raiders did not commit an error over the final three innings and held PJP scoreless in that time frame.

The Lady Raiders got on the board in the sixth. Temples singled, and Hannah Jacobs was hit. With one out, Shay Seals hit a fly ball that dropped between the center fielder and shortstop, but PJP was able to force the runner at third.

Paris Kennedy was hit to load the bases, and Miley drove in the Lady Raiders’ first run by getting hit. A force out ended it with the bases still filled.

After the Lady Jaguars went scoreless in the sixth, Pine mounted a two-out rally. Temples walked, and Jacobs got hit, but the Lady Raiders stranded the runners on first-and-second.

PJP coach Mark Jeanmard said he was proud of his team.

“There’s always things to work on and improve on, but the bottom line is, like my assistant coach (Krisner) Green says, ‘It’s always nice to win an ugly game,’” Jeanmard said. “We did some good things. We had some good timely hitting, we had a few bunts and ran the bases pretty good. We have to continue to improve, but it’s nice to start the second round of district with a win.”