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Raiders win error-filled game with Kings
In the five innings Kofa didn't commit an error Saturday against Cibola, the Raiders didn't score a run.
Unfortunately for the Kings, Cibola scored plenty in the two innings in which Kofa did make mistakes.
The Raiders scored six unearned runs and broke the game open with a six-run seventh in an 11-3 win over the Kings.
“We played them (five) innings errorless; they didn't score,” Kofa coach Emma Morrison said. “But I told them, the moment you let them in, then they just took advantage of that. Just those routine balls that we ... They're just mistakes. Mistakes killed us today.”
The Raiders (11-0 AIA power point games) found themselves in a rare position — losing. Kofa scored first in the bottom of the third when Madison Tracy doubled home Jocelyn Garza with two outs in an inning prolonged by a Cibola error.
But in the top of the fourth, Cibola scored five, four of which were unearned runs charged to Kings starter Kennedy Garcia. With one out and the bases loaded, Alexis Evans hit a high pop-up into shallow left field. Garza had a play running on the ball, but shortstop Tracy was running back and couldn't make the play. Two runs scored and the Raiders piled on three after there were two outs in the inning.
“Routine pop-up balls, we have to make those plays,” Morrison said. “They turned them into runs. I'm telling you, we have to make those routine plays.”
Kennedy retired the side in the fifth and sixth, and the Kings (7-5) added two unearned runs of their own in the fifth to get back into the game at 5-3. Linette Jacobo doubled home a run in the inning and later scored on an error.
“When you give somebody extra outs, they kind of gain the momentum,” Cibola coach Shelly Baumann said. “They get extra times at the plate to do something. We let them stay in the game.”
Kofa had a chance to draw closer in the sixth, getting Robyn McCormick to third with no outs, but they left her stranded there.
The Raiders put the game away in the seventh, banging out six runs, five hits and benefiting from two King errors. The biggest was a dropped foul pop up by first baseman Danielle Torres with the bases loaded that would have retired Melissa Padilla, the Raiders' cleanup hitter. With a second life, Padilla ripped the ball to deep center to clear the bases, capping a 3-for-4, two run, three RBI day for the Raider designated player. Evans added a two-run single in the frame and later scored. The outburst pushed the Raiders into double figures for the seventh consecutive power point game.
“You have to take it when they give it to you,” Bauman said. “But we probably didn't hit as many line drives as we wanted to, but again the girls stayed focused and they hung in there.”
Cibola committed more errors in the game then Kofa did, finishing with four to the Kings' three. Cibola starter Jackie Pierson went the distance and didn't allow an earned run in her three-hitter. Mariah Caro and Isabella Olea each had two hits, a run and an RBI for the Raiders, while Evans scored twice. Garza scored two of the runs for the Kings.
“I told the girls ‘If you play errorless ball, you'll have no problem,' ” Morrison said. “ ‘But once you start making mistakes, you start letting it get out of hand, it gets in your head you made a mistake. You just have to let it go and move on to the next play.' That killed us today.”
Kofa has barely 48 hours to rebound from the loss as the team play a rematch at Cibola on Monday. Cibola has won the first two meetings between the teams this year, but Monday's game will be the first of two games that count toward the Gila Valley Region standings.
“We need to change some things, but I like the mental focus,” Baumann said. “It's the game of softball, though. It's going to be fun playing them, though – I've never really done that, playing somebody back-to-back, getting one day's rest, then coming back. ... Hopefully we can get the job done without any errors this time.”