Maconaquah scores 4 in 6th, rallies past Rochester
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Emma Howdeshell and Sydney Haughs had two hits each, but the Rochester softball team could not hold on to a two-run lead after five innings and lost to Maconaquah 6-4 at Fansler Field on May 11.
Maconaquah senior center fielder Lilly Maple, who came into the game with two extra-base hits on the season, had a double, a triple and a homer.
Maconaquah scored four runs in the top of the sixth to take a 6-4 lead, and freshman Blayklee Buman retired all six batters she faced in relief of starter Bailey Carson to earn the save.
Rochester scored a run in the bottom of the fifth to extend their lead to 4-2 but also gave up two outs on the bases. With runners on first and second and one out, Emma Howdeshell was picked off second. Then, Sydney Haughs doubled down the third baseline to score Kylie Coleman from first, but Haughs was caught overrunning second base and was thrown out.
Meanwhile, Maconaquah’s hustle on the bases in the next inning paid off. After Kayliana Williams singled and Carson walked, Blayklee Buman reached on a bunt single, and Williams never let up and scored all the way from second on the play.
Maple then doubled to deep right field to score the tying run.
Sydney Barnes then hit a squibber back to the circle. Rochester pitcher Mia Howdeshell moved to her left, fielded it and elected to throw home. Her throw was dropped for an error and went to the backstop. Maple then hustled home and beat the return throw with Mia Howdeshell now covering the plate.
Barnes was eventually thrown out trying to advance to third, but Maconaquah had a 6-4 lead. Buman, a freshman, then got five groundball outs and a strikeout to close it out.
“We didn’t really execute where we needed to on defense,” Rochester coach Becky Lee said. “Mia pitched a heck of a game. She did fantastic. She was throwing strikes. I feel like there was a lack of execution on defense, and we gave them some runs that should have been outs.”
Rochester scored a run in each of the first three innings.
In the first, Emma Howdeshell reached on an error with two outs and stole second. Kylie Coleman then singled to center to score Emma Howdeshell.
Maple’s two-run homer in the second gave the Lady Braves a 2-1 lead.
Haley Durkes’ two-out RBI double in the second tied the game, and Haughs’ RBI bloop double to shallow right in the third gave Rochester a 3-2 lead, but Emma Howdeshell was thrown out trying to score from second on the play.
Rochester lost 17-6 in five innings to Maconaquah last year, so Lee viewed this as product.
“I think we did a great job of putting the ball in play,” Lee said. “I told them not to be an easy out, and they continued to make contact on the ball. I think we could have had this in the win column if we don’t beat ourselves and make a few more plays that we’re used to making, but you have those days, and it absolutely is improvement compared to being 10-run-ruled last year.”
Junior catcher Kallie Watson missed the game due to an illness.
Maconaquah 020 004 0 – 6 8 2
Rochester 111 010 0 – 4 7 1
WP – Bailey Carson (5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K)
LP – Mia Howdeshell (6 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 R, 6 BB, 3 K)
S – Blaykee Buman (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K)
2B – Lilly Maple (MAC), Haley Durkes (RHS), Sydney Haughs 2 (RHS)
3B – Lilly Maple (MAC)
HR – Lilly Maple (MAC)