Girls lose in defensive collapse
April 10, 2009
The weather Wednesday of a metaphor for the way things went for the girls on the Park City High School softball team as they lost to Judge Memorial 22-7 on the road.
The girls had hoped for the sunny weather of Tuesday, but instead got hail and freezing temperatures. On the field, the young team had hoped to continue its dominance over the Bulldogs after beating them twice last season, but a struggling defense instead led to the lopsided loss.
Things started off innocently enough; with the Miners holding the Bulldogs to just one run in the first inning. But a series of errors in the top of the second quickly put Judge ahead 6-0. The Bulldogs continued to take advantage of the Miners’ errors, scoring five runs in the third and a whopping 11 in the fourth that triggered the mercy rule. In that final inning, the Bulldogs were able to score the bulk of their runs with two outs. Park City head coach Scott Chester said it’s that inability to close out innings that is really doing the team in.
"We make an error and it blows up on us," said Chester.
Things were a little more encouraging for the Miners offensively. They scored single runs in the second and third innings and then piled on five in the fourth as Judge made a few errors of its own. They might have had one more in that inning but a dead-ball call in the infield negated the run.
"We’re having defensive issues," said Chester. "But that last inning was great offensively."
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Park City assistant coach Alissa Smith said a mix of inexperience and attitude is plaguing the Miners as they continue to lose in Region 10 play.
"There were a few bad calls and they got down and didn’t know how to fight it out," she said.
Pitcher Ciera Figge agreed.
"It’s all mental," Figge said. "Physically we are in it, but mentally we aren’t."
After last year’s domination of Judge, the Miners went into Wednesday’s game believing that they had a shot at a win. But with a team made up mostly of underclassmen and a handful of girls who are still new to the game, the task proved to be too much. They were also not expecting the return of Judge’s starting pitcher Madi Moll, who broke her foot a few weeks ago.
Figge, who pitched until the game was called, has taken on the bulk of the work on the mound this year. Last year’s starting pitchers aren’t playing this year, which has been hard on Figge and the other four returning varsity players, who have had to take on a lot responsibility this season.
"It’s hard to step up," Figge said. "I’m working as hard as I can to deliver for the team. There’s a lot of pressure, but I have to not let it get to me."