Starting the season off against high level competition isn’t an easy thing to do.
Though the Hi-Liners did what they could in a 12-1 loss to Red River High School in six innings Tuesday, the team left with plenty to work on.
Primarily on the defensive end, where eight players from last season took the field, with only one, pitcher Keely Fogarty, out of her spot from last year.
“I thought that was going to be our strength,” coach Jason Lindgren said. “We had too many errors. We did good things when we made the errors, they hustled after the ball, they got it back in, they held the runners. … If they would have gotten to the ball in the first place, they wouldn’t have had to.”
The errors were more than a traditional scorebook would show. Though there were five scored errors on a few balls thrown by catcher Dierra Diegel that weren’t snagged at second place and some bobbles in the field, the majority, Lindgren said, were as simple as an outfielder playing out of position or even a wrong first step on a ball.
Combined with timely hitting and a few walks, the Rough Riders scored five runs in the top of the third inning and kept the Hi-Liners from taking advantage of their runners on base. The Riders eventually had scored one run in the fourth, two in the fifth and four in the sixth to put it away.
Entering the third inning, the Hi-Liners weren’t looking so bad. Fogarty, who started in the pitching circle, had allowed only one hit and struck out three in the first two innings.
But in the third, she allowed two straight singles to the gaps in right-center and left- center fields. The third hitter reached after Fogarty overthrew her first baseman on a groundball straight back to the mound. The overthrow allowed a run to score.
The fourth batter hit another gapper, then the fifth reached on a walk. All five eventually scored.
The Hi-Liners allowed one run in the sixth inning, but didn’t falter again until the seventh, when a misplayed ball to centerfield nearly resulted in an inside the park home run that scored two runners. The hitter was thrown out coming in from third base.
Danica Diegel pitched the final inning, struggling early with her control and allowing four runs.
Offensively, the Hi-Liners finished with seven hits and had few issues getting runners on base. The problem was bringing them in.
Amanda Tangen, the second batter for the Hi-Liners reached on a short single in the first inning and stole second, but was followed by two straight outs to end the inning.
In the third inning, the Hi-Liners ‘ first three batters all reached on singles, but the team finished runless after a flyout by Tangen and a 1-2-5 fielder’s choice double play hit into by Dierra Diegel.
The Hi-Liners only run was from leadoff hitter Jenna Coghlan, who reached base on a bunt with two outs. She advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a double by Tangen.
Lindgren was disappointed that the offense wasn’t as “dominant” as it could have been, but was also pleased that his players were aggressive and had all of its outs made on balls in play, with no strikeouts.