Eagles fall to Tigers

Published 9:41 pm Monday, March 29, 2010

The Goshen Eagles mounted a furious rally in the bottom of the seventh inning against Luverne Monday, but it turned out to be too little, too late.

The Eagles trailed 11-7 heading into the bottom of the seventh, and had the tying run on third, but could not push that run across.

“Our girls showed a lot of fight,” said Goshen head coach Dee Hughes. “They didn’t hang their heads, and they decided they wanted to battle. Unfortunately, they just fell short again.”

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The rally started with an infield single from Sydney Sullivan, which was followed by a single from Nioka Slater.

Both Sullivan and Slater came around to score on an RBI triple from Amanda Griggs, cutting the Tiger lead to 11-9. Griggs then scored on a wild pitch, which made it 11-10 with nobody out.

Rachel Senn singled, but was retired when Shelby Jo Vinson grounded into a fielder’s choice.

Vinson reached second base on a passed ball, and later advanced to third when Kathlyn Thomas struck out and had to be thrown out on a dropped third strike.

Samantha Roy was then hit by a pitch and stole second, giving Goshen the winning run in scoring position with two outs.

Haley Hughes was the batter for Goshen, but she grounded the ball back to Tiger pitcher Tory Free, who flipped the ball to first base to seal the win.

After the game, the Eagles’ coach said they must start playing every inning like Monday’s seventh inning.

“The thing is they have to learn they have to play seven innings like that, and not just the last ones,” Hughes said.

Goshen got off to a hot start in the game, taking a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

However, Luverne responded with six runs in the second off of Eagle pitcher Alli Warrick, with most of those runs being unearned. The big blow of the inning was a home run from Free.

“Since spring break, we’ve only had a game a week, and it’s really hard defensively to get enough games in to where you get into a groove,” Hughes said. “I’m just waiting for us to peak.”

Goshen battled back for five in the second to take a 7-6 lead, but GHS would not score again until the seventh.

Free, Luverne’s best pitcher came into the game in relief of Taylor Wright in the second inning, and was able to stifle the Eagles.

Luverne added a run in the third, a run in the fourth and three runs in the fifth to take an 11-7 lead.

After the game, Hughes said the Eagles just need more time to get better.

“I think a lot of it is they have to start to feel confident in their roles, and start to support one another out there,” Hughes said. “But, the more games they play and the more experience they get at their new positions, they’re only going to get better.”

We’re hitting .387 as a team this year, so we’re hitting the ball well. We just have to start playing better defense.”