BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
LOGANSPORT — Prior to Wednesday, the Rochester softball team’s two losses had each been by a run.
Their 13-3 loss in six innings to host Logansport might have been a different matter.
Pitchers Sydney Haughs, Emma Howdeshell and Darah Strasser combined to walk five and hit four batters. The defense committed five errors, including a dropped fly ball on the final play of the game that allowed the two clinching runs to score.
Offensively, Rochester left eight on base, and that does not include the two baserunners who were nabbed on the bases, one runner who was thrown out trying to return to third after overrunning the base and another who was picked off first on a back pick from Logansport catcher Alexsa Herrold.
Rochester lost their third straight game after a three-game winning streak to start the season.
First-year coach Jim Coleman said he demanded better of the team in his postgame talk.
“I’ll be honest,” Coleman said. “Those are plays we have to make. They’re routine plays. I thought not only defensively we struggled. I thought on the bases we struggled; we got picked off two different times. Our plate approach was not there tonight like it has been.
“Our overall approach to tonight’s game was not there. It’s not the same team that I’ve seen. I really challenged the girls after the game tonight. We’ll see how they respond moving forward.”
Compounding the frustration of the loss, freshman second baseman-outfielder Mylee Heinzmann grabbed her right side after striking out in the fourth inning and needed assistance off the field after the game.
“All I know is that she had some side pain,” Coleman said. “I’m not sure as far as what the extent of her injury is. I know that she started favoring it about the third inning, and after her last at-bat there, she had more pain. So I don’t know if it was something that was pulled or if it was something internal. I don’t know at this point.”
Rochester scored first in the first when Logansport’s right fielder dropped Haughs’ routine fly ball with two outs that allowed Emma Howdeshell to score from second.
Pailei Cripe’s two-run double in the bottom of the first that ticked off Strasser’s glove in the bottom half put the Lady Berries ahead for good.
A dropped pop-up and Kellyn Cripe’s RBI single in the second made it 4-1.
Kylie Coleman smashed a double to straightaway center in the top of the third to score Emma Howdeshell, who had reached on a bloop double, to make it 4-2.
Adrienne Scott’s RBI infield single in the third made it 5-2.
Logansport coach Chad Cripe replaced starting pitcher Natalee Packard in the middle of a 3-1 count to Strasser and put in ace hurler Kinzie Byrd in the top of the fourth. Though Rochester had three baserunners and three stolen bases that inning they did not score.
Packard’s RBI fielder’s choice grounder and Tatianna Jones’ RBI single on a grounder through the left side made it 7-2 in the bottom of the fourth.
In the top of the fifth, Maddi Heinzmann doubled to deep left to move Kallie Watson from first to third. Even though Watson stopped at third, the throw from the cut-off player went through to the plate anyway, and when the catcher was not able to corral the ball on a short hop, Watson came into score.
But Logansport tacked on three more runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth. Kendra Sutton had a two-run single, and another run scored on an Emma Howdeshell wild pitch in the fifth.
Kellyn Cripe’s RBI walk made it 11-3, and Coleman replaced Emma Howdeshell with Strasser. Strasser got Pailei Cripe to fly to right, but the ball was dropped for a two-run error.
Rochester travels to Culver at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Logansport won their fourth straight game to improve to 4-1.
Logansport 13, Rochester 3 (6 innings)
Rochester 101 010 – 3 5 5
Logansport 221 233 – 13 9 3
WP – Natalee Packard (3 ⅓ IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K)
LP – Sydney Haughs (2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 K)
2B – Emma Howdeshell (RHS), Kylie Coleman (RHS), Maddi Heinzmann (RHS), Pailei Cripe (LOG)