ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Tabor College softball team lost a pair of home games to Kansas Wesleyan on Saturday at the Sports Complex, 8-2 and 8-5.
In the opener, pitcher Johannah Love fell victim to shoddy fielding to absorb the loss while allowing 10 hits.
Wesleyan scored one run in the second inning and two more in the third on three hits.
Tabor answered with a run in the third when Jacqueline Schnell walked and scored on a bunt by Holly Lindsay.
Wesleyan countered with three runs on three hits in the fifth and two more runs on three hits in the sixth. Two Bluejay errors aided the Coyote cause.
Tabor added a run in the seventh when Loewen singled with two outs and scored on April Funk’s hit to account for the final 8-2 score.
“We just had way too many errors in the first game,” coach Tina King said.
In Game 2, Tabor fell behind 1-0 after one inning with Lindsay pitching for Tabor.
Wesleyan added a run in the fourth on a single and a Tabor error to take a 2-0 lead.
Tabor bounced back with four runs in the home half of the fourth inning to grab a 4-2 lead.
Loewen led off with a single and scored on a single by Schnell. After a Lindsay sacrifice bunt, Funk belted a drive over the fence to give the Bluejays a 3-2 lead.
“April is really hitting the ball well right now,” King said. “Her bat has really come around.”
Micca Peterson followed with a single and scored on an error to give Tabor a two-run advantage.
Wesleyan came back with a pair of runs on two hits and a Bluejay error in the fifth to tie the game before Tabor countered with a run in the sixth to lead, 5-4.
Love singled with one out and scored on an error on a ball hit by Stephanie Stuber.
Tabor didn’t register the outs it needed to win the game until Wesleyan scored three times on a walk, two singles and two errors.
“Our pitchers did well enough in these two games to win,” King said. “But it’s difficult when you have to record four outs in an inning (due to errors).
“The girls know that we’re a good team, but we have to get the mental mistakes out of the way.”
With the losses, Tabor fell to 6-17 overall and 2-8 in KCAC play.
“Talent-wise, we’re a very powerful team when we’re on,” King said. “We can play with anybody in this league. In order to do that though, we need to develop consistency.
“When we get to the conference tournament, I think we’re going to shock a lot of people.”
McPherson-Tabor split a doubleheader against McPherson on Tuesday, winning the opener 5-4 and losing the second one 2-1 in an International Tie Breaker in nine innings.
In the opener, pitcher Holly Lindsay allowed 10 hits in seven innings to pick up the win.
McPherson jumped on top 1-0 in the first inning but Tabor tied the score in the third when Erin Loewen singled and scored on a triple by Lindsay.
The Bulldogs answered with a run in the third on a Crystal Richardson home run.
The Bluejays got three runs in the fifth inning to go up 4-2 as Julie Wall walked with one out, Loewen singled and both runners scored on Lindsay’s second triple. Lindsay scored on a ground out by Jacqueline Schnell.
Tabor got what proved to be the winning run in the seventh inning when Lindsay singled and scored on a double by Schnell to put the Bluejays on top 5-2.
McPherson got two runs on two hits in the seventh innings before Tabor recorded the final out with two runners aboard to preserve the 5-4 win.
Game 2 turned into a pitching duel as Tabor scratched out just two hits in seven inning and Love allowed only three hits in seven innings. The game moved to the International Tie Breaker in a scoreless tie.
With April Funk placed on second, Sara Thiessen sacrificed her to third. Funk came home on Tamara McCarren’s sacrifice fly to give Tabor a brief 2-1 lead.
McPherson tied the game in the bottom of the eighth, sending the game to nine innings.
After Tabor failed to score in its at-bat, McPherson scored and won on a Bluejay error.
Love took the loss, allowing three hits and no earned runs while striking out five.
“We finally reached the point that we only had two errors in both games combined,” coach Tina King said. “Our bats came around and we finally played at the level I knew we could play.”
Coming-Tabor traveled to Lindsborg on Monday and heads to Ottawa on Saturday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.