Errors, missed chances lose it for Bauxite

NORTH LITTLE ROCK – The Bauxite Lady Miners were up 7-1 going into the bottom of the sixth inning, but errors and missed opportunities led to an 8-7 extra-inning loss to the Robinson Lady Senators on Monday at Burns Park in North Little Rock to start 7-4A conference play.

“You probably can’t print what I have to say,” Bauxite Coach Wes Mode said wryly. “It was Glen Rose all over again. We just can’t finish. We can’t deal with success, and yet we can’t handle adversity either. It’s kind of strange.”

The Lady Miners were up 7-1 against the Glen Rose Lady Beavers as well before losing 9-7 about a month ago.

“We had some base-running mistakes that killed us,” Mode said. “We had some errors that killed us.”

Bauxite (2-4, 0-1 7-4A) scored two runs in the top of the sixth inning when leadoff Allie Beech walked with the bases loaded to score sophomore Amy Etheridge to make the score 6-1. Sophomore Kati Daley followed with a squeeze bunt to score freshman Jadelyn Varty to make it 7-1, but after senior pitcher Bethany Edwards reached on a fielder’s choice, she was picked off of first base when Robinson catcher Kayla McSpadden threw it to her sister, Courtney McSpadden at first to end the inning. It was the second pickoff between the duo of the game as junior Denise Harp was picked off of first an inning earlier.

The Lady Senators (6-1, 1-0 7-4A) scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to get within three. Senior pitcher Whitney Jarvis singled, Kayla McSpadden walked and Bailey Jump singled to load the bases with no outs.

Edwards struck out Kelsie Thompson looking, but Candace Yarbrough singled to score Jarvis and a fielding error by Harp allowed McSpadden to score. Then things got weird. Edwards struck out Natesha Robinson for the second out, but Edwards and catcher Sydney Wingate thought there were three outs because the umpire signaled the third out, and Edwards dropped the ball in the circle. With both Edwards and Wingate heading to the dugout, no one was at home and Jump scored from third to make it 7-4.

“My battery thought there were three outs,” Mode said. “It was just another bonehead mistake. The players need to know how many outs there are. I’m not going to blame the ump.”

The Lady Miners had a runner on third with one out in the top of the seventh, but couldn’t get her home and the Lady Senators took advantage.

Anisha Johnson doubled to start the bottom of the seventh and moved to third base on a passed ball. After Edwards walked Jarvis for the second time in the game, Johnson scored on a wild pitch to make the score 7-5 with one out. Jarvis moved to second on the wild pitch and ended up scoring on a Kayla McSpadden single to get within 7-6. Edwards struck out Jump for the second out, but a wild pitch on Thompson allowed McSpadden to reach third and Wingate’s throw attempting to throw her out flew over Shelby Durbin’s head at third into left field, letting McSpadden to score and tie it at 7-7. Edwards struck out Thompson to end the inning.

Since she made the final out the last inning, Varty started at second base per high school softball extra inning rules and reached third on a wild pitch, but could not score as Wingate struck out and and consecutive ground outs by Beech and Daley ended the inning. Thompson started at second to start the bottom of the eighth for Robinson and Yarbrough took Edwards’ first pitch to right field for the game-winning single.

Edwards pitched seven innings, giving up eight runs (five earned), eight hits, five walks and striking out nine, while throwing 133 pitches.

The Lady Miners scored five runs in the first two innings when Durbin hit a seeing-eye single through the middle to score Daley and freshman pinch runner Sydney Barnard to make it 2-0 going into the second. After going down in order in the second inning, Beech walked, reached second on a wild pitch and scored on Edwards’ single to center field in the third. The next batter, Harp, was down with an 0-2 count before coming back and hitting a two–run homer to right-center field to make it 5-0.

Edwards went 3 for 4 with an RBI, Durbin went 2 for 4 with two RBIs, Daley went 2 for 5 with a run and RBI, and Harp went 1 for 3 with a run and two RBIs. For the Lady Senators, Jarvis went 2 for 2 with three runs scored, Kayla McSpadden went 2 for 3 with two runs and an RBI, and also pitched two scoreless innings for the win. Jarvis gave up seven runs on 10 hits in six innings, walking four and striking out eight. Yarbrough also went 2 for 3 with two RBIs, including the game-winner.

“We did hit the ball a little better today,” Mode said. “I was proud of that. That was about the only thing I was proud of.”

The Lady Miners play next at home in conference action against the Nashville Lady Scrappers on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.