By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
The Mt. Pleasant softball team had one of their toughest tasks of the season on Friday night as Class 5A No. 14 Burlington came into town for a non-conference doubleheader.
The Panthers suffered two six-inning losses in the non-conference double-dip. Burlington took game one 14-2 and game two 10-0.
The Panthers had a decent start to game one. After Burlington pushed one run across in the first inning, Mt. Pleasant scored two in the bottom half.
Makayla Cam tied the game up with a one-out RBI triple, scoring Lyndi Vantiger on the play. Anni Liechty knocked her in with an RBI groundout and it was 2-1 Panthers after one.
Liechty was able to shut out the Grayounds in the next two innings to help Mt. Pleasant hold on to the one-run lead, but the Panthers couldn?t add to their lead.
Burlington eventually found their offense, taking advantage of some shaky Mt. Pleasant defense to score three in the fourth, two in the fifth and eigth in the sixth to run away with the 12-run victory.
Liechty took the loss in the circle, starting and throwing five innings. Hannah Newman came in for an inning of relief.
Mt. Pleasant had just five hits in the game-one loss. Cam was 2-3 with a triple. Vantiger, Trintiy Krabill and Newman all finished with one it.
The Panther offense couldn?t put one across in game two, despite loading the bases in both the fourth and fifth innings.
Starting pitcher Keelyn McNamee kept the Grayhounds relatively quiet early, but once again Burlington was able to break free. The Grayhounds put up one run in the first inning, two in the second, two in the fourth and five in the sixth.
The Panthers had six hits in game two. Vantiger was 2-3, and Chi Glaha, Liechty, Krabill and Newman each finished with one hit.
After the game, head coach Troy Mears said his team still needs to work on defensive lapses that lead to big innings for the other team.
?I told them before the night started, let?s just compete tonight,? Mears said. ?We came out and scored a couple runs...Even when it was 6-2, it was still kind of a good ballgame, but then we have that inning where we give them five, six, seven outs. Good teams like that capitalize.?
Mears also gave credit to Burlington and said that Mt. Pleasant could learn a thing from their ranked foes.
?They?re kind of like a well-oiled machine. That?s what I told our girls. It?s something we should strive to be, just to be more consistant.?
Mt. Pleasant will be back in action at West Burlington on Tuesday, June 26. The Panthers and Falcons will play a doubleheader, starting at 5:30 p.m.