Sports / The Prairie Fire / April 8, 2009

Non-con twin-bill a sour day for softball

A face-off with Rockford College was another chance for the Knox softball team to get some work in before conference contests begin this weekend. The afternoon double header was a one-two punch of disappointment for the ladies of Knox as they dropped both ends, 10-4 and 5-2.

Game one put freshman Brianna Williams, the first of two rounds in Coach Patti Keenan’s battery, on the mound. Though young, Williams has shown promise early in the season, but this time things were pretty disappointing. Pitching seven innings, Williams was hammered for nine hits and ten runs, though oddly only four earned. She struck out three and walked four, while plunking one batter. She also allowed only two extra-base hits, both doubles. The true story of the game can be seen in the errors, with Knox committing seven in the game, a number that will keep you from winning anything.

At the plate, the Fire put together what they could, knocking four hits and scoring four. Williams led the team at the plate, going 2-for-4 with an RBI, while junior Regina Cloyd and sophomore Emma Paul each went 1-for-4. Knox led the game going into the sixth, but a collapse ensued, as the team gave up four in the inning, and another five in the seventh as the game got out of reach. Five errors in the two innings gave Rockford the chance, and they went after it with teeth bared.

Game two saw junior Cory Beiber, taking the hill. Beiber had let up 32 runs in her previous two outings, but something here she plainly clicked, as she became an absolute force on the mound. She allowed only five hits and three earned runs, though two more crossed the plate due to the Fire’s four errors. Beiber walked three and let up a home run in the first that drove in two, but after that, she was practically lights out on the hill.

The offense was quiet again, which is unusual, since it is often the second game in which the team is hotter at the plate. Knox could muster only two runs on three hits despite Rockford’s six errors, as Cloyd went 1-for-4, and senior Kate Latshaw and junior Cassie Milleville each were 1-for-3 on the day, Latshaw with a walk.

Down by four through three and a half innings, Knox was able to plate two as the bases were loaded and Beiber got to first on an error, driving one in, and Cloyd drove one in on an error in left field. Rockford had four of its errors just in the one frame, and Knox cut the deficit in half. Rockford got one back though, on a double that drove home the runner on first. The ladies of the long grass had no answer after that, as each team was held to no score from then on.

The team has an eventful weekend ahead of it, with six games in three days. They play Eureka at home today at 3 and 5 p.m., then host their first conference opponent, Grinnell, on Friday again at three and five, before taking a trip to Monmouth to face the Scots on Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m.

The team is beginning to put it together, and if Keenan can capture all the good things they achieved last Saturday, she may well have lightening in a bottle, something she could unleash with great vengeance and terrible anger on those who look to destroy our sisters of the diamond.

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