Pack loses conference crown to Vikings
By By EUGENE L. TINKLEPAUGH, Staff Writer
Washington’s softball team, which has dominated the Coastal Conference, was dismantled in its last game of the season by rivals D.H. Conley in a stunning 5-0 defeat on Friday.
The Vikings, tied with the Pam Pack at the top of the standings going into Friday’s game, opened up with two scores that sent Washington reeling.
Defensive errors turned Washington’s game plan topsy-turvy. And Conley was more than happy to oblige the crowd with some action.
The Vikings’ consistent D and well-executed base running kept Conley in charge of the night, giving them the win and the conference title.
The loss puts the Pack in second place for the regular season.
According to Pake, Washington will face the Wilson Hunt Warriors on Tuesday at home.
Washington pitcher Charity Watson, starting her second game in two days, gave up eight hits against the Vikings. She tallied seven strike-outs and didn’t walk any batters.
The Vikings rattled Watson’s cage in the very first inning, scoring two runs off two hits.
Lead off batter Allison Brown opened with a grounder that rolled under Watson’s glove to give Brown just enough time to make it to first.
Next up, Lindsay Roebuck made it to base when her grounder down the third base line resulted in a fielding error by third baseman Hayley Stowe, who overthrew first. The error put two runners in scoring position.
Washington garnered the first out when Breanna Andrews grounded it to Stowe. This time, Stowe got it to second for the out, putting runners on the corners.
Brown came home off Suzanne Riggs’ sacrifice fly to left field. On the next play, Andrews stole home when catcher Marrissa Fucito couldn’t handle a Watson pitch.
Fucito, who normally starts at third base, was filling in for Taylor Rodgers after an injury in Thursday’s game against South Central.
The change moved Stowe from shortstop to third, Davey Ann Burbage from right field to short and Lauren Allen filled in the empty outfield slot.
Pake said the change in defensive positions wasn’t the culprit for Friday’s loss.
Winning pitcher Suzanne Riggs pitched a great game to steal the win away from Washington. She allowed three runs, struck out six batters and walked three batters.
Two walks came in the fourth inning and loaded up the bases after Kayla Spain’s second single of the night.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Samantha Moldin stepped into the batter’s box facing a 4-0 deficit.
Pake called for the suicide squeeze. Modlin slapped the first offering, and Hayley Stowe darted for home. The bunt gave the ball just enough air for Riggs to hurdle off the mound and make the catch with her outstretched glove, giving the Pack its third out.
Washington flubbed its second chance to score in the fifth inning, after Conley scored another run to make it 5-0, the largest lead of the night. Marrissa Fucito hit what should have been a sacrifice fly deep into center field. Meredith Duke came home before center fielder Allison Brown made the catch in the outfield. Third baseman Ann Clifton picked up on the mishap and called for the ball, getting an easy out on an open plate.
Duke had walked to first and made it to third off Taylor Rodgers’ single. The play gave Washington its first two outs of the inning. Riggs then struck-out Watson to close the inning and the door on Washington’s comeback hopes.
The seventh and final inning was over succinctly. Riggs struck out two and Spain’s third at-bat, a zinger to right field was caught by Ashton Venters.
D.H. Conley 200 210 0 — 5 8 0
Washington 000 000 0 — 0 3 4
WP: Suzanne Riggs; LP: Charity Watson
Hitters: DHC — Allison Brown 1-4, Lindsay Roebuck 1-4 (run), Breanna Andrews 1-4 (2 runs), Suzanne Riggs 0-4 (RBI), Kaitlyn Maloney 2-4 (RBI, run), Loren Bartz 3-3 (RBI, run), Ashton Venters 0-3 (RBI); W — Taylor Rodgers 1-3, Kayla Spain 2-3.