ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Marion Warriors tasted defeat for the first time this season in a doubleheader split at Council Grove Tuesday.
The Warriors lost the opener 5-3 before coming back to win the second game, 10-5, to bring their season record to 5-1.
Megan Moore took the loss for the Warriors, but it was inconsistent fielding by the defense that led to the loss.
With two outs in the bottom of the first, Council Grove laced a single and scored on a two-out double for the first score of the game.
Emmy Bowers led off the second inning with a home run to tie the score, which remained unchanged until the bottom of the fourth inning.
Moore struck out the first Brave batter, but the next two batters singled and doubled. A throwing error brought home the lead run for Council Grove.
Another throwing error brought home the Braves’ third run. The next batter stroked a sacrifice fly to center to give Council Grove a 4-1 lead.
Meanwhile, Marion batters were kept off-balance on the blustery day, managing only three hits through the first five innings.
In the sixth, Amber Richmond walked and then scored on a Krista Zogelman triple, cutting the Braves lead to 4-2. Zogelman scored on a Caitlin O’Dell ground out, slicing the lead to one.
But Council Grove ended the threat without further damage.
The Braves added an insurance run in the home half of the sixth to account for the final margin.
Marion managed seven hits, with O’Dell collecting three, and Bowers and Zogelman getting two each.
Moore pitched well in defeat, allowing just six hits and only one earned run, while striking out nine in six innings.
Four costly Warrior errors proved to be the difference.
“We played well,” coach Charlotte Waner said. “They were the best team we’ve played so far this season. We just had one inning where we committed a couple errors, and it caught up to us.”
In Game 2, the wind continued to blow in the same direction, but the outcome of the game switched 180 degrees.
Marion made a statement in the first inning. A two-out rally began with a walk to Moore, who then scored on a triple by Bowers, giving Marion a 1-0 lead.
Richmond then reached on an error, driving home Bowers. Zogelman followed with a single, setting the table for O’Dell, who slapped a single to drive in two more runs and increasing the lead to 4-0.
Council Grove scored a lone run in the first, courtesy of two more Warrior errors.
In the third inning, Bowers singled and scored, to increase the Warrior lead to 5-1.
Inning four produced another Warrior run when Moore drove home Mindy Mastin, who had walked.
Moore meanwhile, was mowing down the Braves, allowing only one hit through the first five innings.
In the sixth, Marion scored three more runs on two hits and a walk, with Moore getting her second RBI of the game with a double, expanding the lead to 9-1.
Council Grove tried to crawl back into the game in their half of the sixth-and Marion tried to help them.
Four Brave runs on five hits, and three Marion errors cut the Warrior lead to 9-5.
Marion got one run back in the seventh when Nikki Moody scored after drawing a two out walk to make the final score 10-5.
Offensive stars for the Warriors were Moore with four hits, including two doubles, and two RBIs, Zogelman, who had three hits, and O’Dell who had three hits and drove in two runs.
On the mound, Moore allowed seven hits but no earned runs while striking out seven Braves, to run her season record to 5-1.
“We had some errors during one inning in each game that cost us,” Waner said. “We managed to hold it together and still win the second game.
“We played very well for the weather conditions and against strong competition,” she added. “I was really happy with the way my girls played.”