By BLAKE FAITH
The Mt. Zion softball team won two games and lost two games last week. The Braves split a doubleheader against Mahomet-Seymour, beat Maroa-Forsyth and lost to Bloomington.
Against Bloomington, Braves’ starting pitcher Dakota Harrison threw three shutout innings to start the game and threw five strikeouts in the first nine outs. Bloomington’s Ellie Vetter was just as good through the fire three-innings.
The Raiders struck first when Kennedy Lovell hit a two-out double to the left-field gap bringing in a run to give them a 1-0 lead. The Raiders added three more runs in the top of the fourth to make the score 4-0.
“We had a terrible inning when we allowed three runs,” Head coach Greg Blakey said. “Bottom line is we gave away too many at-bats and never put any pressure on them offensively. Anytime you do that you’re not gonna win any ball games.”
The Braves attempted a rally in the bottom of the fourth. Gwen Bender placed a bunt down that got her on-base. She was moved to second when Kennedy Highley put down a sacrifice-bunt. Bender then willed herself to score a run for the Braves’ stealing two bases on her way to home-plate to make the score 4-1.
Kayla Schnippel struck out at the plate forcing the Braves into a two-out situation. Harrison and Audri Johnson each hit singles and advanced to second and third base. Vetter ended the inning with a strikeout on Anna Cox.
The Raiders added one more run in the top of the fifth to make the score 5-1. The Braves got two runners on-base in the fifth and sixth inning, but couldn’t score. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Cox and Lauren Waller both hit singles and got to second and third base. Vetter got herself out of the inning and gave Bloomington a 5-1 win.
“We didn’t show any urgency and we’ve not done that this year,” Coach Blakey said when it came to leaving runners on-base.
The Braves improved to 19-13 overall and 7-5 in Apollo Conference play. The Braves finish their regular season against Normal West and Washington this week and then will play in regionals next week.
“We gotta be at our best,” Coach Blakey said. I don’t think we’ve been there yet.”