MHS softball splits with Jeff West on senior night
The McLouth High softball team saw its 11-game win streak come to an end Thursday, but still ended the day in the win column. The Bulldogs split a home doubleheader with Jeff West, dropping a 3-1 decision in the first game and answering with a 9-2 win in the nightcap.
Senior Kendra leach found herself in a pitcher's duel with JWHS hurler Katie Ricklefs in the opener, as both teams went scoreless in the first five innings. MHS (16-2) broke through when sophomore Konner Patterson scored in the bottom of the sixth, but the lead was short-lived. The Tigers took advantage of two errors and scored three in the seventh. The Bulldogs loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame, but couldn't get any runners across the plate.
"The wheels kind of came off for a second," coach Ballard Patterson said. "We didn't do anything out of the ordinary for the first six innings, then when they made a move, we didn't respond. We should have won the first game, but we let our guard down."
Leach, now 8-2 on the season, allowed three hits and struck out five over seven innings. She also went 3-for-4 at the plate with three singles.
Offense wasn't an issue in the second game, as MHS took control with a seven-run third inning. Ricklefs came in as a reliever, but this time around, the Bulldogs had her number. They added two more runs in the fifth to extend their lead to 9-0.
Leach was one of three Bulldogs with a two-hit game. Others were juniors Marissa Raya and Alex Adams.
"We struggled to get runs off that Ricklefs kid in the first game," Patterson said. "They started another kid in the second game and we got to her quick, then we got runs off of Ricklefs. We started figuring her out and hitting the ball."
The early outburst provided more than enough breathing room for freshman pitcher Angela Dailey, who threw seven frames of two-hit ball. The Tigers scored two runs in the seventh, but both were products of errors, so Dailey's earned run averaged remained at 0.00. She is now 8-0 and has allowed just 21 hits in 52 innings.
Thursday's games served as senior night. This year's Bulldogs seniors are Leach, Emily Welsh, Morgan Drinnon, Kelsey Campbell and Rakel Jensen. Next up for MHS is a makeup home doubleheader against Holton on May 10. The games will not count toward regional seeding.
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