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Fastpitchers lose season series to Cougars
The Bainbridge fastpitch team, which has been dominant for the first half of the season, has hit a speed bump as of late.
The Spartans have lost three of their last four games, two of which were to arch-rival Holy Names.
The second loss came Tuesday when the Cougars defeated the Spartans 7-1. Both losses put Bainbridge two games back of first place in the Metro League Mountain Division.
Bainbridge could only muster one run on two hits in the game. The Spartans scored six runs off 11 hits the last time they played the Cougars.
Starter Hailey Willmann struggled through five innings as Holy Names put runners on in every frame. She gave up 10 hits and five walks.
Head coach Liz McCloskey said the team’s defense did not help Willmann, but added that the Cougars are a good hitting team.
“Defensively we need to back her up and not make the mistakes we made,” McCloskey said. “Once a team gets into a rally – once one person hits, everybody hits.”
McCloskey and assistant coach Nicole Hebner will discuss some possible changes, including the possibility of having Willmann throw fewer innings.
The Cougars batted around in the fifth inning to put five on the board.
After Holy Names loaded the bases on a double, an error and a walk, pinch hitter Claire McCarty drove in two runs with a single. Another run scored on an error while McCarty scored on a fielder’s choice.
Natalie Gellos drove in the last run for the Cougars with a sacrifice fly.
Holy Names starter Sylvie Thomas had a no-hitter going until the fourth inning when Taylor Greenfield hit a bloop single.
Bainbridge scored its lone run in the fifth when Katie Raben reached on an error, advanced to third on a passed ball and an error, then scored on a groundout by Rosie Kerstetter.
Raben also came on in relief of Willmann in the sixth and struck out five of the last six Holy Names batters.
In a non-league game against Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) Friday, a 1A school 16 miles north of Spokane, the Eagles broke open a 1-1 tie with six runs in the fifth inning.
The Spartans fought back with one run in their half of the fifth and three more in the sixth, but fell short.
McCloskey said they did not get any breaks, but also said the Spartans did not help their cause by making fielding errors and leaving runners on base.
“We left the bases loaded three times,” McCloskey said. “That hurts. That’ll hurt anybody.”
Despite the recent losses, McCloskey believes the team will rebound and improve its performance.
“I think they know they’re better than the way they’ve been playing and they’ve come together,” she said. “They’ve realized they have to be focused every day at practice and they have to come out (focused) to play every single game.”
The Spartans will be without Caitlin McCormick for a week, as she is getting surgery to reset a broken nose that she suffered in Friday’s game.
Bainbridge played Bishop Blanchet Thursday, but results were not available as of press time.
The Spartans host Ingraham Monday.