Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- A slumping offense and defensive miscues were too much to overcome against a very solid South Putnam softball team on Tuesday night.
The Eels committed four errors and couldn't manage to string together many hits in a 5-0 shutout loss to the visiting Eagles, who improved to 10-2 this season.
"We haven't hit the ball well all year," said Clay City coach Roger Rhodes. "I think now its' in their heads. We worked hard all winter long inside. I think we're trying too hard."
Just a year ago, the Eels got to Eagles' starter Samantha Tomasino for five runs in just two innings to knock her out of the game.
This time around, Tomasino went the distance for the shutout and scattered six hits against an Eels' team that barely earned a win over a 6-6 Union squad on Monday.
Clay City had climbed to No. 8 in the Class A softball poll this week, but seemed to be a shell of that team defensively.
The Eagles scored a first inning run on a ringing double by Megan Canary and an RBI single from Oceia Boetjer. But the second run came on the strength of a Canary walk and a pair of errors.
Boetjer reached on an error by Clay City's Shelby Targett when her grounder was handled, but the throw to first was wild. Boetjer came around to score when a pickoff throw sailed wild into centerfield.
"Errors have killed us," said Rhodes. "Once we get down, we haven't hit the ball. We're kind of in a rut. We had a good game against North Central and now too lousy games."
Those two runs were all Tomasino needed.
The Eels didn't have a hit until the fourth inning when Tasha Collenbaugh reached via a single, but she was picked off first base.
That mistake proved even more costly when Kayla Baumgartner smacked a single of her own, but was left stranded.
Clay City had six hits in the game, including a one-out single by Kayla Withrow in the sixth inning and a double by Collenbaugh, but both were left there when Tomasino got the final two outs on a popped up bunt and a groundout.
"(Tomasino) did an outstanding job," said South Putnam coach Evonne Canary of her pitcher. "She kept her composure when they got on base. She takes it one game at a time. She's very competitive. The whole team is."
The Eagles plated two more runs in the fifth inning to effectively close the victory when a walk to Sam Stanifer was followed by an infield single by Canary. Boetjer followed with an RBI double to bring both runners home.
The Eels were unable to respond as Tomasino and the Eagles put the finishing touches on Clay City's third loss of the year.
The Eels (10-3 overall) host North Daviess on Thursday at 5 p.m.
At Clay City
2B -- SP (Canary, Boetjer).
|Targett (L, 9-3)||7.0||4||4||5||14|