Round one goes to Eagles<br><i>Too many errors for Marauder softball</i>
Staff photo by Eric Lusk
KRISTA Holm reacts after missing a hard pitch from Flag's Rhiannon Baca.The Marauders lost 8-1.
Baca struck out eight, many with her 60-plus miles per hour fast ball.
"We just played scared. I don’t know why," said Mingus coach Heather Earls. "I’m just disappointed in the defense. The hitting will come around – we haven’t faced anyone like that this year. But we don’t play defense like that."
After a scoreless first two innings, Flagstaff jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the third thanks to three Marauder miscues.
Flag’s leadoff hitter singled, then Baca hit a long fly ball to left field. The ball was dropped, allowing both runners to get stay aboard safely.
After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners into scoring position, Mingus committed another error trying to get an out at first. One run scored.
A base hit by the Eagles made the lead 2-0, but a fielding error on the next batter pushed another run across before Mingus pitcher Nicole Zettler got out of the inning with a strikeout and a catch in front of the mound.
Two more errors in the fourth frame allowed Flagstaff to score its fourth run, but Mingus was not out of it yet.
Lindsey Stokes walked to start the bottom of the fourth and Elissa Banuelos bunted her over. Melissa Fanning then put a hard-hit ball into play, and series of Flagstaff throwing errors allowed Stokes to scoot home.
Baca stopped the potential rally, though, with a strikeout and got the final batter of the frame to hit a weak grounder to the second baseman for an out.
Flagstaff put the game away in the seventh inning. Two more errors, an RBI single from Baca and an RBI double to the outfield fence allowed the final four runs to score. Mingus went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh, the last batter on a strikeout.
The Marauders dropped to 1-1 in the Grand Canyon Region, 10-5 overall.
Earls said Zettler, who has nine pitching wins on the season, didn’t have her usual stuff on Tuesday. She may have been tired or just having an off day. "She didn’t throw as hard as she normally does," the coach said.
Baca, though, looked as strong as ever. She is now 9-1 on the season and 2-0 against region teams. Baca has given up just four hits in the two GCR games. Flagstaff is 13-3 overall.
"When we score runs it’s tough to beat us," said Flagstaff coach Rudy Baca. "Our hitting is really coming along, and it’s nice to have someone like (Rhiannon) pitching."
Mingus will play a key region doubleheader against Page on Tuesday at home. The Sand Devils are 1-0 in league play after a 12-2 win over Coconino on Tuesday. Deanna Chitwood is a solid pitcher for Page and has given the Marauders trouble in the past.