Marceline softball's solitary run came with two outs in the seventh inning on Thursday night. After stranding a host of runners throughout the course of the game, the Tigers at least managed to cross a consolation runner in the waning pitches of a sloppy 6-1 loss to Salisbury at home.
Salisbury adds a notch to its already noteworthy fall with Thursday's victory, advancing to a sterling 9-0 following a 2016 campaign in which the Panthers a run to the Class 1 state semifinal. The Tigers drop to 5-4 with the loss.
"We have to get together and focus," Marceline senior first baseman Darcy Dorrell said. "We have to pick ourselves up."
Marceline batters were limited most in crucial at bats on the day. In the third through fifth innings, the Tigers stranded seven baserunners, including being unable to alter the scoreboard with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the fourth. In total, the Tigers left 10 runners on base.
"We didn't get the timely hit or the clutch hit, and that's going to happen sometimes," Marceline coach Todd Lowther said.
"If one of those hits falls, it might change the game for us. We did a good job of getting baserunners and getting people on base. I think if we'd gotten a hit there earlier in the game, it might have given us more confidence to work with. It wasn't a good game for us, but hopefully we can start fresh next week."
Lowther's side finished the game with seven hits against Salisbury's powerful sophomore pitcher, Bryn Wooldridge. No Tiger had multiple hits. Abbey Kussman's seventh-inning triple followed by Maycee Edgar's RBI double were Marceline's only extra-base hits.
Salisbury punched across three runs in both the third and fifth innings with three hits in either. Marceline pitcher Maycee Edgar limited Salisbury to a single hit outside of those two innings. The Tigers committed one statistical error to Salisbury's two.
"Our girls didn't fold," Salisbury coach Nate King said in reference to the bounty of baserunners his team allowed to reach safely. "That happens when you get in those tough jams. I'm proud that they didn't get rattled, because that leads to some runs. That leads to errors. We wanted to play small and move runners with less than two outs because Marceline's got a very good team."
Marceline plays three times next week, traveling to Paris on Monday and Westran the following evening. The Tigers then host Scotland County on Thursday.