Lackey soft­ball loses to Patux­ent

Pan­thers roll up 9 runs in road win over Charg­ers

Maryland Independent - - Looking To Go Further - By ANDY STATES as­tates@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @cfh­philly

The game was still young when Haylee McClana­han first stepped into the bat­ter’s box at Lackey on Mon­day af­ter­noon, but she still felt the pres­sure of the mo­ment.

Her Patux­ent Pan­thers had run­ners at the cor­ners with two outs and she had the op­por­tu­nity to step up to de­liver a big hit. She did, ham­mer­ing a dou­ble to left to chase home Kyle Sears and Han­nah Ludke with the game’s first two runs. Patux­ent even­tu­ally led 9-0 be­fore ul­ti­mately claim­ing a 9-2 win in the South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence non­di­vi­sion con­test.

“I was kind of ner­vous to start out with, bat­ting in a new spot,” said McClana­han, who moved from the cleanup spot to fifth in the or­der. “I was kind of ner­vous be­cause I didn’t re­mem­ber [Lackey pitcher Madi­son Fur­man] from last year, and it’s my se­nior year so I kind of want to carry the team and help out with my bat. I re­laxed and held my hands softly and I hit the ball. That’s what I was told to do.”

While McClan­han’s dou­ble was one of three ex­tra-base hits for the Pan­thers — Sears and Ludke both had dou­bles, as well — the team only had five hits in the game. But they ex­hib­ited plenty of pa­tience at the plate, draw­ing nine walks. Patux­ent (2-1 over­all) was able to turn it into nine runs, and blew the game open with a six-run fifth in­ning.

Kelsey Sears’ sin­gle was the only Patux­ent hit in the top of the fifth, but the Pan­thers also walked six times in the in­ning and were able to suc­cess­fully put the ball in play to move the run­ners a cou­ple other times.

It was plenty enough to build an in­sur­mount­able lead, but Patux­ent head coach Jen Bruno is look­ing for her lineup to de­liver a breakout per­for­mance.

“With the po­ten­tial of our lineup ... we’re just not get­ting a hold of it yet con­sis­tently,” she said. “Ev­ery now and then we do, but we’re bet­ter than what we showed to­day. De­fen­sively, [Lackey] was solid.”

Lackey (0-3) also hit the ball rel­a­tively well at times, but strug­gled to get the big hit it needed in the clutch.

In the sec­ond in­ning, the Charg­ers left run­ners on sec­ond and third. They left two run­ners on again in the third.

In the fifth, Amanda Mar­shall led off with a sin­gle, the first of three for the Charg­ers as they loaded the bases with no outs. The Pan­thers then re­tired the next two bat­ters to inch closer to emerg­ing un­scathed again, but Mad­die Kuhn sin­gled to cen­ter to break up the shutout.

The Charg­ers scratched out one more run in the fifth, but left the bases loaded.

They left the bases loaded again in the sixth with­out bring­ing in any runs and then went down in or­der in the sev­enth. In all, Lackey left 10 on the bases, seven in scor­ing po­si­tion.

“Even though we’re not truly a young team, we’re a young team,” Lackey head coach Jerry Bar­ron said. “My pitcher is a fresh­man, my catcher that’s sup­posed to be there is a fresh­man. The girl who caught to­day [Alyson Roberts] just found out to­day that she was catch­ing, and I thought she did a rea­son­able job be­hind the plate . ... It’s just a mat­ter of the balls they hit find­ing holes.”

Lackey had nine hits, all sin­gles, to al­most dou­ble Patux­ent’s to­tal. But Patux­ent’s Ludke did not walk a bat­ter and was able to suc­cess­fully nav­i­gate through the ma­jor­ity of the threats she faced.

The Charg­ers will look to get into the win col­umn when they host West­lake at 4:30 p.m. to­day.

“When I went out there to talk to them [postgame] there weren’t too many ugly things for me to say,” Bar­ron said. “I was happy with the field­ing. They did very well. There are some things we need to work on. We need to work on the pitch­ing and we need to work on the hit­ting.”

Next up for Patux­ent is a sched­uled trip to county ri­val Calvert at 4:30 p.m. to­day.

Win­ners of two of their first three, the Pan­thers are op­ti­mistic about what lies ahead.

“I think we def­i­nitely need to switch up a few things for Calvert, but we played our hard­est,” Patux­ent’s Kylie Sears said. “I re­ally couldn’t ask for more from the team. If they played with all their ef­fort, then I’m proud of them . ... I def­i­nitely think this team is a lot bet­ter than last year. I think we still have a lot to learn. It’s early in the sea­son, but I’m very happy with how we’re start­ing off.”

“We just need to be a lit­tle more con­fi­dent,” Bruno said. “We put a lot of pres­sure on our­selves in­di­vid­u­ally that we don’t need to. We need to play the game and for­get quickly. If you make a mis­take move on, do the other half. I am very ex­cited about them. We just need them to be a lit­tle more con­fi­dent, get a lit­tle more com­fort­able with each other. I’m ex­cited about the fu­ture.”

STAFF PHO­TOS BY ANDY STATES

Lackey’s Haley Wood smiles as she goes to the bag for an out in the third in­ning of the Charg­ers’ game with the vis­it­ing Patux­ent Pan­thers on Mon­day. Patux­ent won 9-2.

Madi­son Fur­man started in the cir­cle for Lackey in its soft­ball game with the vis­it­ing Patux­ent Pan­thers on Mon­day af­ter­noon. Patux­ent de­feated Lackey 9-2.

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