The Maricopa High School Rams girls softball team was unable to overcome tough pitching Thursday or control their defense, resulting in an 8-4 loss to Coolidge.
Maricopa struck out 17 times during the seven-inning game and had just one hit, a bunt in the sixth inning. The four runners who scored reached base on either a dropped third strike, walk or were hit by a pitch.
Defensive stats weren’t much better for the Rams in their first league game of the season. In the top of the first a mental error between the first baseman and catcher allowed the lead-off batter to reach base. A throwing error at second allowed the runner to score. Maricopa managed to take advantage of a Coolidge error in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at one.
Rams pitcher Stacey Turley allowed just one base runner in the next four innings. Junior Jayme Kesler reached first on a dropped third strike and was able to advance to second, third and score on passed balls. The Rams were unable to score again after three more strikeouts ended the inning.
With two outs in the top of the sixth inning the Bears hit back-to-back singles bringing in one run and tying the game at two. After Turley walked a batter, another single brought in the second run of the inning to give Coolidge the lead. Maricopa managed to get an out on the next play to end the inning.
In the bottom half of the sixth senior Sara Schouten drew a leadoff walk. With catcher Jinger Kesler at bat, Schouten advanced tp second and third on passed balls. Jinger Kesler bunted to the third baseman who threw to first allowing Schouten to score. Another passed ball brought in Jinger Kesler and put the Rams on top for the second time.
The leadoff batter for the Bears walked followed by a miscommunication between Turley and Jayme Kesler that put another runner on base. After Jayme Kesler threw the next runner out at first, Turley made a throwing error on a grounder to the mound that allowed two runs to score. The next batter walked putting two runners on for the next Bear who hit a bases-clearing triple to center field. Shortstop Ronnie Cyr made a play at first for the second out but allowed the fifth run of the inning to score on the play. After an error at first and a hit-by-pitch, the Rams finally got out of the inning on a slow grounder to the mound and headed to the dugout down 8-4.
Maricopa ‘s offense failed to rally in its final at bat as all three batters struck out swinging.
The Rams will play at home Thursday against visiting Wickenburg.
If you go:
What: Maricopa High Softball vs. Wickenburg.
When: Thursday at 3 p.m.
Where: Maricopa High School 45012 W Honeycutt Ave.
Photo by Katie Winkley