Pam Pack suffer first loss to BeddingfieldPublished 11:48pm Tuesday, April 1, 2014
For the first time this season, the Pam Pack softball team looked vulnerable and mortal against what is likely the team’s toughest conference foe, Beddingfield.
Despite another consistent and pin-point pitching performance from Washington’s go-to junior, Haley Hutchens, the Pam Pack fell to the Bruins in the final inning, 2-1.
“It’s a very good ball club, and you can’t give a good team too many chances,” said manager Doug Whitehead. “One run – we didn’t do a lot on offense tonight – but that should have been enough to win. You can’t give a good team opportunities, and that’s exactly what we did tonight.”
Through the first six innings, Hutchens kept hitters off balance with a plus-velocity fastball and a changeup that kept the Bruins hitters chasing balls outside the zone. In her first full game since March 12, the Pam Pack ace allowed just two base runners in six innings pitched, striking out 13 batters.
“Haley pitched a heck of a ballgame,” said Whitehead. “Defensively, we just let a lot of balls drop and made some poor throws.”
For the first time this season, an opposing pitcher managed to contain the Pam Pack’s dynamic and dangerous lineup. Beddingfield hurler Brooke Jones administered her fair share of base knocks through the first six innings, but composed defensive play from the Bruins bailed out their pitcher and ultimately proved to be the difference in the game.
Washington’s only run came in the third inning after sophomore Style McKissick reached on a single to left field and came around to score on a sacrifice from junior Adriana Tyson.
As Hutchens continued to send Bruins back to the dugout, Jones and the Beddingfield defense continued to work its way out of jams. Then, with two outs in the seventh inning, Beddingfield finally broke through. With two runners in scoring position, catcher Nickie Womble rocketed an single between the shortstop and second baseman, plating two runners and giving the Bruins their first lead of the contest.
For the Pam Pack, small ball was the strategy in the bottom half of the inning. Freshman Hailey Harris worked her way on base after beating out a bunt to the pitcher. Two batters later, Style McKissick added to her hit total with a bunt single.
After Chrissy McKissick grounded out to the second baseman and both runners advanced into scoring position via a wild pitch, Hutchens stepped up to the plate with a chance to earn herself a win. With three powerful fastballs, Jones retired Hutchens on three pitches, handing the Pam Pack their first loss of the season.
“We need to play every game one at a time,” said Whitehead. “We look forward to facing this crowd a couple more times.”
Style McKissick finished 3-for-3 at the dish, while Hutchens went 2-for-4 and finished with a season-high 14 strikeouts.
Jones pitched all seven innings for Beddinfield, striking out six and allowing just five hits.
With the loss, Washington drops to 5-1 record (2-1 Eastern Plains). The Pam Pack will face Riverside today with first pitch set for 6 p.m.