Against Blake, Blazers' game slips through the cracks


April 21, 2004, midnight | 17 years, 9 months ago

JV softball loses 15-14 in overtime nail-biter


by Amanda Lee

APRIL 22, BLAZER STADIUM—

Intense. Tight. Tough. Amazing. As the Blair JV softball
team filed into their dugout after losing to the Blake Bengals this
afternoon, there was no shortage of bittersweet words and sentiments to
describe the emotional rollercoaster of their past two and a half
hours.

After commanding an early lead this afternoon, the Blazers
watched the Blake Bengals come back from a six-run deficit to tie and
ultimately win the game in an extra eighth inning. Despite outstanding
performances from sophomore Emily May and freshman catcher Claire Lieberman, the team
was ultimately doomed both by errors in the field and Blake's decision
to switch pitchers mid-way through the game.

The first five innings were characterized by Blair's dominance
in nearly every aspect of their play, particularly from the pitcher's
mound and behind the plate. "Today was Emily's day," said manager Nora
Arnold. "The umpire had a small strike zone, but she pitched strikes
the whole time."

Arnold also praised Lieberman's strength as a catcher. "Clare
stopped dozens of wild pitches," she said. May also demonstrated
potency at bat, hitting a "gorgeous" triple ball over the Blake center
fielder, according to injured freshman Maggie Sullivan. By the end of
the fifth inning, the Blazers were leading 5-11.

In the fourth inning, however, May hit a ball that struck the
Bengals' starting pitcher, prompting them to substitute her with relief
pitcher whom the Blazers found tough to play against. "She was the
fastest pitcher we faced all year," Coach KristenWerdann said of her,
adding that despite the challenge, the Blair team performed extremely
well against her.

May believes Blake's pitcher substitution was the turning point
in the game. "We were hitting really well off [the starting pitcher],"
she said, "but the new pitcher was really varsity quality."

In the sixth inning, two errors in the field gained six runs for
Blake and cost Blair their lead. For the next two innings, the two
teams struggled to outscore each other with little success. Needing one
run to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth inning, sophomore Margot
Pass' walk was cut short when a fly ball fell easily into the Blake
second baseman's mitt, closing out the inning and ending play.

"We should have won that game," said Coach Kristen Werdann
afterwards, expressing a disappointment along with pride at the girls'
tenacity throughout the eight innings. "We had one bad inning, but we
fought really hard today," she said.

The Blazers next face Magruder away from home on Thursday, April
22 at 3:30 pm.




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