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Slow start costs Leggett & Platt softball in TTAS state opener

Ennis representative forced to play from behind early on
Leggett & Platt played much better down the stretch of Monday evening’s TTAS freshman state tourney opener in West, but an extremely rough start against the Rogers Heat proved too much to overcome.
Rogers scored runs in five of the six innings and took a 10-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth. Leggett & Platt (LP) showed plenty of heart to avoid a run rule, but a full-scale comeback was too big a mountain to climb in the 12-5 loss. Rogers out-hit LP 10-3 and the Ennis team had all kinds of trouble in the field with all nine of the game’s errors.
“We had to play our best to have a chance to beat that team,” said LP coach Barry Cox.
“Errors killed us and it took too long to get our hitting going. Once we started making a comeback, the game was out of reach. The girls definitely had some jitters and hadn’t ever been on a grass [infield] before, but that’s no excuse for our mistakes.”
To the coach’s point about the hitting, LP’s first hit came in the fourth inning with the run rule looming. The Heat pitcher threw extremely hard and had a pretty good changeup to boot.
Offensive contributors over the final three innings included Nikel Perkins (single), Arlandria Harris (single), Bailee Ervin (single), Jada Cox (RBI fielder’s choice) and Chandler Mach (RBI groundout). Matty Hutyra (6 IP, 2 ER, 10 H, 2 W, 5 SO) went the distance in the circle.
While the Heat connected on an RBI double in the first inning, a couple of LP errors paved the way for a second run. Shortstop Harris did field a groundout and a lineout in the early going.
Rogers went up 3-0 with a single and an RBI single in the second. Second baseman Jordyn Seaboalt fielded a groundout and then made an outstanding running grab in shallow right field to end the threat.
“Jordyn played very good defense for us,” Cox said.
Rogers rode a single and a couple of errors to a 5-0 lead in the third. First baseman Cox did throw out a runner at the plate with the help of catcher Dominique Carrillo. Though Seaboalt hauled in a high liner in the fourth inning, an RBI single, an RBI double, a single and two more errors enabled the Heat lead to become 10-0.
“We want teams to have to hit the ball and [Rogers] had good hitters,” Cox said.
“Matty did her job, which is throwing strikes.”
After going down in order during each of the first three innings, LP made a little headway in the fourth with the game on the line. Seaboalt drew a leadoff walk and soon scored on a Cox RBI fielder’s choice thanks to her outstanding slide just under the tag at home. Perkins followed with a single to right, but was one of two LP runners thrown out during the inning.
“That was a great slide by Jordyn and she was eager to score,” Cox said.
“We needed that run bad to keep the game going. That was the first time most of these girls have seen a pitcher who throws that hard, but we had the pitching machine turned up to 55 [mph in practice] and that’s not an excuse tonight.”
Though Rogers went up 12-1 in the fifth with an RBI double and an RBI single, Hutyra began to find more success as she struck out three batters. Harris singled in the bottom of the inning as Ervin (walk) scored on a passed ball. Harris also scored on a passed ball and Mach’s RBI groundout plated Carrillo (walk) for a 12-4 contest.
“Our good veterans started hitting, but [Rogers] had the huge lead,” Cox said.
The Heat opened the sixth with a single, but Harris made good on a fielder’s choice and then charged a low line drive for an outstanding double play to get her team off the field. Ervin singled in the LP sixth and managed to score on a passed ball before the Heat pitcher ended the game with her ninth strikeout.
“Arlandria gave us a great double play late in the game,” Cox said.
“Hopefully those late runs we put up are building on [Tuesday’s game]. Now the girls have seen the atmosphere at this tournament and know what kind of competition they’re up against. You have to have your A-game and we didn’t, so we’ll be back [tonight at 5 p.m.] looking to play a better ballgame.’

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Posted by on Jul 22 2008. Filed under Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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