The Morris Area softball team dropped a pair of West Central Conference South games to Yellow Medicine East Thursday and Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City Friday.
Morris Area 4
The Tigers fell to The Sting 7-4 at home on a cold, windy night.
The Sting got started with a two-out homerun in the top of the first inning.
"Kelsey Amundson had thrown that girl nine pitches. She fouled off five of them," explained coach Mary Holmberg. "We had a chance to catch a foul ball for the third out. The next pitch she sent over the fence in right field."
The Tigers came back with one run in the bottom of the second when Sara Beyer doubled, advanced on a passed ball, and scored on another passed ball.
Yellow Medicine scored four more runs in the third inning, including three on a homerun by Livi Jeserite, and added another run in the fifth.
The Tigers scored a run in the bottom of the fifth on a lead-off double to Mackenzie Weatherly, who advanced on a passed ball to second and third, then scored on a single by Haley Henrichs.
The Tigers had a chance to close the 6-2 gap in the sixth inning. Beyer led off with a double, Courtney Vogel singled and stole second, and Alissa Melberg walked to load the bases. Weatherly also walked, which scored Beyer. The next three batters were retired on pop ups.
"We missed an opportunity to score by swinging at balls out of the strike zone," said Holmberg.
YME scored one run in the top of the seventh and the Tigers again threatened in the bottom of the inning. Dani Schultz led off with a single, stole second, and scored on a fielder's choice by Vogel. Then Kelsey Greenwaldt was robbed of a double for the last out by a diving catch by the center fielder.
Defensively, Schultz threw out two runners at second on steals. Mary Rentz was very busy on the left side making some long throws.
"Beyer had a solid performance at first base," added Holmberg. "Outfielders, Shadow Olson, Greenwaldt, and Brianna Neuman, fought the wind for some solid catches."
Pitchers, Amundson and Weatherly, threw strikes and Weatherly gave up two walks.
"We needed to give Kelsey and Mackenzie a little more support," Holmberg said. "YME hit the ball well. We didn't capitalize on the opportunities they gave us."
Morris Area 2
The Tigers lost in 10 innings Friday at Grove City.
Morris Area scored first in the fourth inning. With one out, Rentz walked, Beyer singled, and advanced on a passed ball. Rentz was on third and courtesy runner, Vogel, was on second. Weatherly bunted and scored Rentz on a safety squeeze. Vogel tried to score on a passed ball, but was thrown out at home.
Schultz scored the Tigers' second run in the sixth inning. With two outs, Schultz singled, stole second, and scored on a double by Rentz.
The Falcons scored on a single and a double in the sixth inning. They tied the game in the seventh with two outs and a runner on third. The lead-off hitter had two strikes and singled to right center to score the tying run.
Morris Area had a chance to take the lead in the ninth. Rentz singled and Beyer walked. Then Rentz stole third and Beyer took second before Weatherly hit a fly ball to right field which was caught.
"We really had to work to manufacture runs," said Holmberg. "Christie Malvi is a good pitcher." The Falcons' pitcher had 13 strike outs for the game.
The Falcons won in the bottom of the 10th when the lead-off batter was hit by a pitch, the next batter popped up to the pitcher, and then on a bunt, the base runner went from first to third and scored on an over throw that went under the fence.
"The girls played so well," said Holmberg. "Our defense was strong throughout the game. Rentz played steady at short with four assists and four put outs."
Beyer threw a runner out in the second trying to steal. Olson had three put outs in center field.
"Weatherly pitched a strong game. She was consistent and hit the corners," added Holmberg. "This was a close game and one we can learn from. The pressure was good and will make us better."