Errors plague Pack

Published 11:43 am Thursday, April 10, 2014




At times, the Washington girls softball team looks unbeatable, defeating multiple in-conference opponents by double figures and reminding teams of the 10-run mercy rule’s existence.

On Wednesday, however, the Pam Pack matched up against an old conference foe, D.H. Conley, and were emphatically reminded of just how good the Eastern Carolina Conference is, losing to the Vikings, 12-2.

“I think maybe five runs were earned,” said manager Doug Whitehead. “It was a sucky night … like we’ve never played ball before. But hey, it’s a nonconference game and we should be able to bounce back from it.”

For the first time this season and against a tough opponent, Whitehead decided to throw his talented freshman into the fire. Hailey Harris, who had pitched just three innings in relief, got the call – her first start in a Pam Pack uniform.

Ace Haley Hutchins got the start at second base and watched as her freshman protégée faced Conley’s dynamic lineup. Fighting through some minor control problems, Harris displayed flashes of brilliance on the rubber, but received virtually no relief from her defense.

In the first inning alone, Harris allowed three hits and the Pack committed two errors, giving the Vikings an early three-run lead. The poor defensive start spawned a somber mood that lingered for the remainder of the night.

With two outs and courtesy runner Jada Lodge on first, Harris stepped up to the plate and smashed a double to deep center field, scoring Lodge and putting the Pack on the board.

However, Conley responded in the bottom half of the frame with a run of its own on two hits and a rare error from junior Adriana Tyson.

The final four innings consisted of Washington being denied opportunities and stranding multiple base runners. In the third, they scored just one run on four hits, and in the following inning, they left the bases loaded.

While the Pam Pack failed to capitalize, the Conley bats remained consistent. The Vikings touched up Harris in the third for three runs on one hit and a walk.

With Conley up 7-2 in the fourth, Whitehead placed Hutchins back on the rubber to stop the bleeding, but the defense continued to struggle.

A run scored in the fourth via a throwing error, and the Vikings sent the fans home early in the fifth with a four-run inning, which also included three errors on defense.

“They’re a good quality program and very, very fundamentally sound,” Whitehead said. “They do a lot of things right, and we need to take a look at that program and learn from it.”

Washington will look to bounce back on the road tonight when they face Farmville Central. The Jaguars are 1-10 this season and have yet to win a conference game.