Two wins over Central top Bluejays’ week in softball

The Tabor softball team let a three-run lead slip away in the bottom of the sixth inning against Hesston College and lost, 7-6, in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday in Hesston.

The Larks also won the first game, 6-3, capping a 2-4 week for the Bluejays (4-19).

Tabor led 6-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning against Hesston and seemed on their way to a doubleheader split.

A fly out, an error, a walk and a fielder’s choice put two Larks on base with two outs. A single drove in one run, a fielder’s choice brought in a second run and a triple drove in the final two runs.

“We did a really good job of containing them the entire game until that point,” said coach Donovan Nelson. “It’s indicative of our lack of pitching experience.”

Hilary Driffel went 2-for-3 to pace the Tabor offense, which managed only four hits in the game.

Pitcher Priscilla Mace went the distance for Tabor, allowing seven hits and walking two.

The first game was close from start to finish. Hesston finally got some breathing room in the fifth, scoring two runs to take a 5-2 lead.

Tabor managed one run in the top of the seventh to make the score 6-3, but could not stretch the rally.

Misty Collins was 3-for-4 at the plate, including two RBIs and a double. Sara Janzen was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles.

Jennie Ewertt went the distance for Tabor, allowing six runs on 11 hits. She struck out three and did not walk a batter.

Friends-The Falcon pitching and defense shut down Tabor bats on only three hits as Friends prevailed by identical 8-0 scores Thursday in Wichita.

Friends’ Cochran no-hit the Bluejays in the opener. Meanwhile, the Falcons scored two runs in the first inning off losing pitcher Jennie Ewertt, then added one run in the fourth, two in the fifth and three in the sixth to end the game on the eight-run rule.

Misty Collins, Iva Werth and Shelby Griffith managed Tabor’s only hits in the nightcap.

The Falcons, meanwhile, scored two runs in the first inning off losing pitcher Priscilla Mace, then added two runs in the second, one in the third and three more in the fourth to end the game after five innings on the eight-run rule.

“The big things about Friends is their defense is the top of the league by far,” coach Donovan Nelson said. “To get hits off of them, you really have to hit the ball well. You can’t get by with just hitting the ball hard and hoping they make a mistake, because they won’t do that.”

Central Christian-The Bluejays picked up a pair of home victories April 3 against Central Christian of McPherson, winning 9-1 and 17-9.

In the first game, Tabor led 6-0 after one inning and were never threatened.

Kara Chisholm, Sara Janzen, Iva Werth and Stacy Kuhns each went 2-for-3 to pace an 11-hit attack. Winning pitcher Jennie Ewertt gave up only three hits.

In the nightcap, Tabor gave up nine runs on seven errors, but still prevailed thanks to a 16-hit attack and a late rally.

The Bluejays scored five runs in the second inning to take a 5-1 lead. Central rallied with eight runs in the top of the fifth inning to lead 9-5. But the Bluejays exploded for 12 runs in the bottom of the inning to win by the eight-run rule.

Shelby Griffith went 4-for-4 and Misty Collins 3-for-3 with two RBIs to pace the Bluejays. Janzen went 3-for-5 and drove in three runs.

Priscilla Mace pitched four innings for the win. Sarah Frick pitched one inning in relief.

“I’m certainly pleased with the Central games as far as putting up enough runs on the board, but very disappointed in allowing them 10 runs over the two games,” said coach Donovan Nelson. “You give them credit for hitting the ball, but yet we made a lot of defensive mistakes.”

Nelson said his team continues to show improvement at the plate and in the field, but the team’s pitching has been vulnerable.

“Teams hit the ball against us simply because or pitching isn’t that good,” he said. “You can’t defend that and you can’t do anything about it except get better pitching-and that’s nothing you can do in the middle of a season.”

Coming-The Bluejays will play two doubleheaders on the road this week. They match up with McPherson at 5 p.m., Wednesday, and with Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence at 3 p.m., Thursday.

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