For the first five innings of yesterday's Marian softball contest against perennial powerhouse, Minersville, nothing was going well for the Fillies.
Minersville pitcher, Grace Lescavage was completely dominating Marian's lineup by striking out 11 and allowing no hits in what would eventually become an 8-1 victory for the Lady Miners.
"I told my players to keep competing," said Marian coach Joe DeAngelo. "We gave up runs early and first we had to stop the bleeding."
Colts' pitcher Bethany Shaud struggled early in the blustery afternoon, giving up four runs in the first two innings by walking five and throwing two wild pitches. Minersville's Sarah Walasavage led off the game by legging out what appeared to be a routine grounder to second base. She promptly stole second and third base before she scored on the first wild pitch. On the afternoon, Walasavage was 5-for-5 with four stolen bases and an RBI double.
Lescavage continued to be nearly perfect, allowing only a second inning walk to Marian's Bryanna Pearson. But then Coach De Angelo's plea for his team to keep competing made the game interesting for Marian in the sixth.
Down 5-0, Colt pinch hitter Shannon Masington drew a walk from Lescavage. Then Kaitlin Kowler singled to left for Marian's first hit. Lescavage appeared to settle down by striking out the next two hitters, but then she walked Lyndsay Nemeth and Abbey Hill to force in a run.
"Grace seemed to lose the strike zone and her concentration," said Miners' coach Dave Homa. "[With the bases loaded], they were one swing away from getting back in the game."
Homa then brought in Riley Grenda who retired Abby Stankiewitch on a grounder to second to end Marian's threat.
After allowing four runs in the first two innings, Shaud shut out the Miners until the sixth when the visitors pushed across only one run because of a sliding one handed catch of fly ball by Colts' centerfielder Samantha Faust. In the seventh, Minersville iced the game with three runs on four consecutive two out hits. Grenda closed the game by fanning the side after a leadoff infield hit by Marian's Bryanna Pearson.
"Lescavage is a good pitcher and she kept us off balance, but we got better swings later on," said De Angelo. " We can't expect to win with only one run. One way or another we have to figure out how to improve our run production."
The Fillies dropped to 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the league.
Minersville 220 001 3 - 8 11 0
Marian 000 001 0 - 1 2 1
Lescavage, Grenda (6) and Woodford; Shaud and Hill. W - Lescavage, L - Shaud.