The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

May 1, 2013

Trojans overcome errors

BY GREG FLINT
Commercial-News

COVINGTON, Ind. —  Both Covington softball coach Ryan Sowers and his counterpart at Seeger, Phil Halsema, were disappointed by the performances of their teams when the two faced each other.

Sowers might be a bit less unhappy because his team came away with a 7-5 win, but both opened their post-game interviews by talking about errors.

“We had four errors and two misjudged fly ball that aren’t errors but might as well be,” said Halsema. “You just can’t have that.”

Sowers said he was surprised to get a win, saying, “We had only three hits and made six errors. We really played poorly at times.”

Seeger got the scoring going in the first inning when McKenna Mitchell hit a home run with Kirsten Irvine aboard to start the game up 2-0.

Covington came right back in their half to take the lead. Aliah Larsen and Kelsey Goley reached base and Mallory Ponder doubled them home. She would score when Madison Hanson reached on an error that made it 3-2 in favor of the hosts.

The Trojans added another run in the second thanks to a walk, an infield hit by Kendra Wallace and a bloop single to right by Goley.

Seeger retook the lead in their next at-bats with four straight singles combined with a stolen base and a passed ball to go up 5-4.

The score remained that way until the fifth when Covington tied things up. Larsen reached second on an error, third on a passed ball and home on a sacrifice by Goley.

The Trojans took the lead in the bottom of the sixth when a pitch hit Ali Holmes, Andi Taylor walked, Wallace reached on a fielder’s choice and Larsen reached on an error.

That sequence netted Covington two runs that put them up 7-5 with Seeger down to their last three outs.

It started well enough for the Patriots as they loaded the bases thanks to a single by Nellie Andrews, a Trojan error and a hit batter.

Seeger then had a pop up, a ground ball that forced Andrews out at home but kept the bases loaded and another ground ball that also created a force out at home to end the game.

“You take the errors and then we get the bases loaded and no outs in the seventh and don’t score,” said Halsema. “That was the game.”

He gave credit to Sowers for getting his team ready to play, saying, “He took over midway last year. We split with them then, but this year they swept us. He’s done an excellent job for this program.”

Sowers, perhaps a bit tongue-in-cheek, said, “It was a really good win for us. We showed we can win close games even if we don’t play well.”

He then talked about how his strategy changed as the game progressed.

“Early in the game we weren’t playing for one run – our offense has been too good lately,” he explained. “As the game went on and we were still behind, we started to play to get that one run here or there.”

While not caring for the errors, Sowers did say there were a couple of things he liked about the play of his team.

“We’re starting to click,” he said. “We’re more confident in ourselves and we’re starting to play more as a team. We just need to cut out the mistakes.”

Greg Flint is a freelance writer/photographer for the Commercial-News. He can be reached at gfphoto@gfphoto-web.com