Errors keep Cougars from advancing

VIENNA — After rallying to defeat Ripley, 3-2, in its first game in the softball Class AAA state tournament, Jefferson didn’t find any other late-game offense in its other two games. The Lady Cougars committed four errors against Ripley but still moved to the winner’s bracket.

In its second game on opening day, the Lady Cougars fell to Hurricane, 11-4. The nine errors Jefferson committed could not be overcome.

Alexandra Witt pitched all three of Jefferson’s games at the Class AAA state tourney.

Alexandra Witt pitched all three of Jefferson’s
games at the Class AAA state tourney.

Sent to the loser’s bracket by its loss to Hurricane, the Lady Cougars were in a survival mode when they faced Wheeling Park, another team with a 1-1 record, on Thursday in the double elimination tournament.

The Lady Patriots rallied for go-ahead runs in the top of the seventh and then withstood a short Jefferson rally in the bottom of the inning to post a 5-3 win.

Jefferson’s second tournament loss eliminated it from the event and sent Wheeling Park against unbeaten Hurricane (2-0) in the tournament finals.

The 1-2 record in the state event left Jefferson with a 21-10 overall record.

In its one-run win over Ripley, it was a pitcher’s duel between Jefferson’s Alexandra Witt and the Vikings’ Chelsea Hager. The two pitchers combined to allow only seven hits. Like Jefferson’s defense, Ripley also committed four errors.

Trailing, 2-1, going to the last of the seventh, Jefferson scored twice to get a win. Mallory Jackson drew a walk and when Kaitlyn Boyd legged out a bunt single the Lady Cougars had two runners aboard and no outs. Lauren Lewis stroked a hard grounder to second that was misplayed and Jackson tied it at 2-2 with her run.

Brittney Jackson drew the inning’s second walk. Alexandra Witt was next and when she laced a bases loaded single the Lady Cougars had a 3-2 win.

In its game against Hurricane, the Lady Cougars had Alexandra Witt back on the mound. A faulty defense which kept committing errors and Hurricane’s productive offense combined to stop Jefferson. The Redskins scored five times in the third and added three more runs in the sixth.

Lewis’ two-run homer was Jefferson’s most important hit.

Against Wheeling Park, the Lady Cougars were again hurt by a seventh-inning rally by a state tournament opponent. Alexandra Witt’s two-run homer had lifted Jefferson into a 3-2 lead in the fourth.

Kelsi Johnson’s homer in the sixth tied it at 3-3. In the Wheeling Park seventh, the Lady Patriots scored a pair of unearned runs to move in front, 5-3. Jefferson committed six errors in its final loss.

The Lady Cougars were limited to four hits in the loss.

Hurricane dumped Wheeling Park, 5-0, to grab the state championship with a 3-0 tournament record.

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