ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
Before competing in the KCAC tournament this weekend, the Tabor softball team completed its regular season with a pair of losses to Bethany in Lindsborg.
Unfortunately, the Bluejays were defeated in run-rule shortened games, losing the first 9-1, and the second contest 8-0.
Once again, poor execution on defense cost coach Jim Moore’s Bluejays the chance to be competitive.
Tabor committed six errors in the first game and four more in the second one, making pitching duties that much harder for Jennie Ewertt and Johannah Love.
“We just made too many errors,” Moore said. “Our pitching didn’t do that poorly, but we just allowed them to many opportunities. It’s difficult to win when you allow the other team to make four and five outs per inning.”
Ewertt took the loss in the opener, allowing nine hits.
Tabor led 1-0 after the first half inning, but that was its only lead of the day.
In Game 2, Love also allowed nine hits. Love leads the KCAC in strikeouts per game, averaging 5.91.
Offensively, the Bluejays never got untracked, managing just two hits in each game.
Tabor surpassed its No. 8 seeding to place fourth in the KCAC in Wichita. As the eighth seed, the Bluejays drew top-seeded Bethany in the opener and lost, 9-3.
Tabor jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Bethany showed why they were the conference champs.
Jennie Ewertt took the loss for Tabor. She allowed nine hits and just six earned runs while walking two. Defense failed her, though, as the Bluejays committed six errors.
“We were right in the game,” coach Jim Moore said. “We just didn’t field the ball well enough in some key situations.”
In the loser’s bracket, Tabor defeated fourth-seeded Saint Mary, 4-2. Pitcher Johannah Love made a 1-0 first-inning stand until the bottom of the fourth, when the Spires scored twice to take the lead.
But Tabor scratched out a run in its next at-bat to tie the game.
That’s the way it stayed until Tabor came up with the two runs in the top of the seventh.
That was all Love needed. The freshman shut out the Spires in the last of the seventh for the win. Love pitched a complete-game five-hitter.
In the next game, Love and the Bluejays shut out second-seeded McPherson, 2-0. Love went the distance, scattering four hits over seven innings.
Tabor scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning, one a base hit by Kara Chisholm.
With the win, Tabor lived to see another day, literally. Saturday the Bluejays traveled back to Wichita to play Kansas Wesleyan.
Seeded fifth, Wesleyan proved to be a formidable opponent, beating Tabor by a 4-1 margin.
The Coyotes scored two runs in the third to take a 2-0 lead. The two teams traded runs in the fourth, with Tabor scoring on a single by Heather Onsum.
The Coyotes tacked on an insurance run in the sixth inning.
Love allowed just six hits and three earned runs.
With the loss, Tabor concluded a record-setting season, winning the most games in school history, 20, to go along with 28 losses.