Softball: Earlville-Leland 11, LaMoille-Ohio 1 (5 inn.)
LAMOILLE — Imagine using something from another sport for your own, if you could, to help your own cause.
The LaMoille-Ohio Lady Lions (0-4, 0-4) may have wanted to borrow the concept of the “mulligan” from the game of golf to wipe out a disastrous first inning that played a part in their 11-1 defeat at the hands of the Earlville-Leland Red Raiders (4-0, 3-0) at home on Monday afternoon.
L-O then held the Red Raiders scoreless for the next three innings, but the damage was done, with another score in the fifth to put the 10-run rule in effect, combined with low offensive output from the home team sealed the Lady Lions’ fate for the day.
Five hits and seven walks allowed by starting pitcher Hannah Weeks in the first inning contributed to the early plate-crossing binge by the Red Raiders.
“I really liked the way we pitched so far,” Lady Lions coach Jonathon Gehm said. “Today, I know Hannah’s command was off a little bit, but we were getting soft ground balls, choosing to make plays, and that’s all you could ask for.”
Meanwhile, Red Raiders hurler Kennedy Meloy allowed only one run and one hit during her whole game pitched. Meloy recorded seven strikeouts, hit one batter, and had plenty of help from her outfield.
Without those first frame bases on balls, the game might have played out differently, and Earlville-Leland coach Shannon Cook knew it.
“We hit very poorly today. I think we scattered five hits over five innings,” Cook said. “We took advantage of her (Weeks’) walks early on. The best thing I can say about this game is that it was a win.”
LaMoille-Ohio’s lone run in the game was in the first inning from an RBI hit to center field by Becca Taylor to score Adelyn Matznick.
The Lady Lions put several balls in the air and on the ground, but E/L’s quick fielding kept them from even reaching first base.
On the plus side for L-O, Weeks was able to hold the Red Raiders scoreless in the second inning. Relief pitcher Brooklyn Matznick denied runs to her opposing batters in the third and fourth innings.
“When Brooklyn came in, she threw a lot of strikes,” Gehm said. “We got a few ground balls and pop-ups we were able to make plays on.
“That’s the best defense we’ve played all year, those last four innings.”
Putting the Lady Lions at a disadvantage already this season are roster numbers, with only 10 players in uniform this year.
“That’s part of the reason we are only playing conference games this year,” Gehm said. “We’re playing teams with 10 games under their belts already, and we’ve got to find a way to close the gap.
“We’re doing a nice job, the effort is there, we’re getting some good at-bats. The results will come.”