ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Tabor College softball team squeezed in a pair of games between Good Friday and Easter against Saint Mary University.
Tabor didn’t lay an egg either, as the Bluejays lost the opener 6-1 but won the second contest 8-6.
“None of these girls are quitters,” coach Tina King said of her squad. “They won’t go down without a fight.”
In the opener, starter Jo Love took the loss, allowing seven hits in six innings.
After Saint Mary took a 1-0 lead in the first, Tabor answered with a run in the second inning as Sara Thiessen singled and scored on a Stephanie Regrut single.
No one scored then until the sixth, when Saint Mary iced the outcome with five runs.
King said her team undermined itself in the opener.
“Defensive errors were the key to the game,” she said. “We’re the type of team that can make spectacular plays when we’re ahead, but when we’re behind and we really need them we don’t come up with them.”
Tabor had six hits in the game.
“We hit the ball well, but once again we just seemed to be hitting it right at them,” she said.
In Game 2, Tabor started Kalie George on the mound for the first time this season and the freshman responded with a good outing.
“I feel like she stepped in and the other women really backed her up,” King said.
The Bluejays gave George plenty of help early, scoring two times in the first inning and six more in the third to lead 8-0.
Tabor’s surge was the result of seven third-inning hits, including a triple by Regrut and a double by Thiessen.
But Tabor’s offense sputtered down the stretch while Saint Mary scored one run in the third, three in the fourth and a two in the fifth.
But George hung on and picked up a win that unified the Bluejays, according to King.
“The team bonding in the second game was really something,” King said. “We all knew what was going to keep us together, and as a coach it was really neat to see with Kalie on the mound.
“You always hate to lose a player off your team, but it really helped all the women to bond together for a common cause.”
With the win, Tabor moves to 3-21-1 for the season while improving to 2-8 in the KCAC.
Bethany-The Bluejays dropped both games at home to Bethany College on Tuesday, 5-1 and 8-0.
The Bluejays entered the contest short-handed. pitcher Cassie Borg left school for personal reasons, leaving coach Tina King with just one available pitcher.
“Without a second pitcher, our defense really has to be strong,” King said. “We played well on defense for a while in the first game and Jo (Love) usually throws at least five strong innings.”
That was the case Tuesday as the Bluejays took a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
With one out, Stephanie Stuber reached base, stole second and scored on a throwing error.
Bethany came back to take a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning with the help of three hits and walk.The Swedes added two insurance runs in the sixth inning on a single, a triple and a Bluejay error.
“We played well defensively for about five innings, but then we started to lose it,” King said.
Love, who was charged with the loss, allowed eight hits.
In Game 2, the Swedes took advantage of Love’s weary arm to score three runs in the first and added four more in the second to take a 7-0 lead.
“Losing Cassie really threw a cork into our team,” King said. “Jo was getting tired, so our defense needed to step up but they just didn’t do it.”
Bethany added a single run in the third inning leading to the game being called after five innings due to the run rule.
Love allowed nine hits in five innings. Her single in the fourth inning was the only base hit the Bluejays mustered.
Coming-Tabor was scheduled to travel to Winfield on Monday. Results were unavailable at press time.
On Saturday, Tabor hosts McPherson College at the Sports Complex beginning at 1 p.m.