ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Marion Warrior softball team dropped a pair of home games to Nickerson April 27, 8-7 and 7-3.
In the opener, Marion got off to a rough start as the Panthers jumped on starter Leann Thomas for five runs in the opening at-bat.
Undaunted, the Warriors bounced back to score four runs in their half-inning.
Caitlin O’Dell led off with a single and later scored on an error. Whitney Wear walked and came around to score on a single by Emmy Bowers to cut the lead to 5-2.
Bowers scored the Warriors’ third run just ahead of Thomas, who reached on another walk.
The Panthers added a single run in the top of the second inning before Marion tied the score in the second.
Morgan Cady began the inning by reaching on a walk and scored on a Nickerson error. O’Dell reached on another error and scored on a ground out by Wear.
But Nickerson added single runs in the fifth and seventh innings to grab an 8-6 lead.
Marion rallied in the seventh as Bowers walked and scored on a one-out double by Thomas, but Nickerson recorded the game’s final two outs with Thomas still on second base.
“We did very well other than the first inning,” coach Charlotte Waner said. “After that, we held them and did a pretty good job. That first game was a good one to watch.”
Thomas took the complete-game loss, allowing just four earned runs. O’Dell, Bowers and Thomas each recorded two hits in the contest.
In the second game, Nickerson again jumped on top in the first inning with two runs off starter and eventual loser Kara Holt.
The Panthers added another run in the third inning to go up 3-0 before Marion countered with three runs in the fourth inning.
Sarah Williams singled to lead off, followed by a walk to Bowers. Holt helped her own cause with a run-scoring single to cut the lead to 3-1. Thomas followed with a two-run single to tie the game at 3-3.
From then on though, it was all Nickerson. The Panthers scored two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings while holding the Warriors scoreless for the rest the contest for the a 7-3 win.
“We couldn’t put any rhythm of our bats together in the second game,” Waner said. “When you can’t get your bats going, it’s hard to win. Nickerson had some really good hits that were hard balls to play, too.”
Offensively, Marion collected just eight hits, with no player recording more than one.
The Warriors were guilty of three errors in each game.
“Our defense did a good job and I was satisfied with that,” Waner said. “In the first game, we hit the ball probably as well as I’ve seen us hit it all year. I’m disappointed we lost both games, but I’m as pleased as I can be under the circumstances.”
With the losses, Marion dropped to 5-7 for the season.
Coming-Marion was scheduled to play at Chase County on Tuesday and travels to Chapman for a pair of games on Friday.