FREDERICKTOWN — With the winds whipping, the Fredericktown Freddies softball team built a 3-0 lead over Clear Fork, but the visiting Colts pulled away to win 5-3.
The Freddies got their bats going in the second inning with four-straight singles. Aria Hoeflich singled to score Haley Rook and a walk to Alexis Curry with the bases loaded brought Kahea VanHouten home to push the score to 2-0. Fredericktown made quick work of the top of the third, thanks to a double play where Elyse Newell snared a liner and threw it back to first before the runner could tag up to end the inning.
A double by Alyssa Perkins to open the bottom of the third got the Freddies off on the right foot and Macey Neer singled to bring her teammate home to push the lead to 3-0.
“When we’re positive in the dugout, girls are cheering each other on and we decide before the game starts we’re not going to give up and we’re not going to let anything get you down and you’re going to let your teammates pick you up, your approach at the plate is a little more lenient,” Huvler said. “You can just relax and put the ball in the play and good things happen.”
Just as quickly as Fredericktown got its bats going, Clear Fork returned the favor, opening the fourth with a double, triple and single, with Haylie Miller scoring Courtney Palmer and Brooke Robinson plating Felicity Murphy, who was a courtesy runner for Miller. An error allowed Ashtynn Roberts to score and tie the game at 3.
With the game tied, the clamps were put on the Fredericktown offense, with only one baserunner in the fourth and that was their last batter to get aboard in the contest.
“It’s so hard to tell,” Huvler said of her team’s bats going cold. “Our bats are on 90 percent of the time. For it to have that stretch of innings where all nine of our batters kind of struggle through, it’s frustrating, but for the most part, that’s not the part that I remember. I remember those innings that we had great hits and we try to focus on the positives at the plate.”
In the meantime, Palmer scored on a wild pitch in the fifth inning and Roberts scored on an error in the sixth inning to push the lead to 5-3, but the Colt pitching shut down any Freddie rally attempt.
Roberts pitched the first six innings for the Colts, surrendering eight hits and three runs, with two strikeouts and a walk on the night. Murphy hurled the final inning in relief.
Neer started in the circle and threw five innings with three hits, two earned runs, five strikeouts and two walks. Perkins had two relief innings, allowing two hits and one unearned run, while fanning one.
Errors cost the Freddies on the night, losing the error battle 5-0. Some of the miscues could be attributed to the swirling winds all throughout the game.
“It was so windy in the beginning of this game,” Huvler said. “Our outfield, we had to give them more fly balls during our pregame to let them adjust and move. As I’m doing our warmup, I’m trying to get them line drives and fly balls so they can adjust and read. As for throwing, they have to adjust their arms. We struggled a little bit in our pregame in the outfield and infield, but I think for the most part, our girls adjusted pretty well today.”
At the plate, Hoeflich and Morgan Mowery each had a pair of base knocks, while Perkins slapped a double. Neer, Rook and VanHouten each had a single in the game, with RBI coming from Hoeflich, Curry and Neer, who plated Perkins, Rook and VanHouten for the team’s three runs.
Miller led the Colts at the plate with her triple and RBI, while Palmer had a double and scored two runs. Robinson, Roberts and Trinity Cook each had a base hit.
Fredericktown fell to 6-8 on the year, but will look for their next win Saturday in a home double header against Pleasant, with the first game set for 11 a.m.