REEDS SPRING – Statistical gurus who scream batting average is the most overrated stat in baseball and softball received an an endorsement of their claim Tuesday.
Reeds Spring outhit Rogersville 9-5, but no matter. The Lady Wildcats whipped the Lady Wolves 5-1 in what will be their final COC Small Schools matchup.
Reeds Spring’s hopes of being in position for a possible three-way tie for the league's last conference championship were whisked away, as the Lady Wolves stranded nine baserunners. The contest ended with slugger Mackenzie Duvall popping out with the bases loaded.
“Leaving runners on base was huge for us,” Reeds Spring coach Scott Walker said. “We lacked focus at times. When you swing at inopportune times at inopportune pitches, you’re going to get inopportune results. I don’t care what level you’re playing at, you don’t get ‘A’ results by swinging at ‘D’ pitches.
“It’s enough to make you rethink what we do in practice.”
All too often, Reed Spring hitters were both timid and impatient with runners on base. It wasn’t a case of anyone in particular not delivering in the clutch. The Lady Wolves had eight batters fail to bring home at least one teammate on base.
“Hitters get themselves out a ton by taking a first-pitch strike and then swinging at balls out of the strike zone,” Walker said. “Sometimes, you can be your own worst enemy.”
In contrast, Rogersville made the most of its five hits.
“They came through and hit the ball well,” Reeds Spring shortstop Courtney Scobee said. “It took us until about the seventh inning to get our bats going. We should have adjusted and hit better sooner.”
Scobee drove home the Lady Wolves’ lone run. She was 3-for-4.
Izzy Erickson’s double in the third inning was Reeds Spring’s only extra-base hit.
Walker was surprised how his players responded to a game with such important conference title implications.
“I’m disappointed in our energy,” he said. “It was not good. If you’re not excited about playing right now, you need to be, especially when we had a chance for a three-way tie for first place.”
Reeds Spring fell to 11-2 overall and 1-2 in the COC.
Erickson had to work a bit more than usual in the center circle. Her control was a bit subpar, forcing her to throw a season-high 126 pitches. She struck out six and walked four.
Erickson threw 82 pitches in Reeds Spring’s only other loss, a 3-2 setback at Bolivar.
“She had a couple pitches that weren’t working as well as they have at other times, so we had to call some different things,” Walker said. “She missed her spots a couple of times and Rogersville is a good junior- and senior-heavy team. They made some adjustments.”
ROGERSVILLE (ab-r-h-bi) — Brown 3-1-1-1, Williams 2-1-0-0, Ince 4-0-0-0, Leithead 4-1-1-1, Shatzer 3-0-1-0, Bledsoe 3-0-0-0, Marshall 3-1-1-0, Coambes 2-1-1-1, Bond 3-0-1-0.
REEDS SPRING — Erickson 4-1-2-0, Rudd 3-0-1-0, Lewallen 1-0-0-0, C. Scobee 4-0-3-1, Duvall 4-0-1-0, Welch 3-0-1-0, Cantrell 3-0-0-0, Davis 2-0-0-0, V. Scobee 3-0-0-0, Bauer 3-0-1-0.
Rogersville 003 101 0 - 5 6 0
Reeds Spring 000 100 0 - 1 9 1
WP - Bledsoe. LP - Erickson.