Edinburgh softball falls in extra innings

By Ken Severson | For the Daily Journal


Edinburgh’s one-year reign as sectional softball champion came to an end Monday evening.

And it was the team they beat in the sectional finals last year that did the honors.

Indianapolis Lutheran scored seven runs in the final four innings to secure a thrilling 9-8 come-from-behind win against the Lancers in an eight-innings Class A sectional opener.

Lutheran (9-14) now takes on Waldron in a semifinal game Wednesday, while Edinburgh bows out with an 11-12 record.

The Saints had been down 6-2 and things were looking bleak for them until the Lancers had a breakdown on the field, committing eight errors — five of them in the seventh and eighth innings — that definitely decided the game in Lutheran’s favor.

“There’s no one play that changed (the game),” Edinburgh coach Ben Taylor said. “We had every opportunity. We just didn’t capitalize.”

It wasn’t just fielding errors that cost the Lancers, either; Edinburgh can trace the loss to a couple of factors.

In the third inning, the Lancers loaded the bases with no outs, but a baserunning error led to a double play that killed a potentially big inning. Prior to that, the infield umpire reversed himself on a call, and the Saints benefited and scored two runs.

Edinburgh looked good early, taking advantage of some Lutheran mistakes.

The Lancers scored three runs in the first as Saints pitcher Brooklyn Barger threw four wild pitches to allow the Edinburgh runners to advance. Two singles, one each by Alix Streeval and Carly Cowan helped, with Cowan getting an RBI.

Edinburgh loaded the bases again in the third and pushed three more runs across, thanks to another Cowan single and an error, two walks and a hit batsman.

The lead appeared safe, as Edinburgh pitcher MacKenzie Bieker was moving along nicely. But it started to slowly unravel in the sixth when a foul pop came out of the glove, giving the Saints an extra out.

Barger then walked and ended up scoring on Kathryn Gardner’s double to pull the Saints within a run.

Edinburgh got the run back on Bieker’s RBI single, but a half inning later, the Lancers committed three more errors that helped send the game to extra frames.

In the eighth, two errors and a single led to two runs and suddenly it was Edinburgh who had to play catch-up.

It came close, getting within a run, but with the tying run on third and winning run at first, Barger secured the win with her ninth strikeout.

Despite the ouster, Taylor was happy with how the season went for his team, which played with only nine players all season.

He didn’t have the luxury of substituting players in and out, nor even having a courtesy runner.

“I’m pretty proud of what we did this season,” Taylor said. “Three (players) not having very much softball experience. If anybody told me that we would finish near .500 I would have been glad to take it. They don’t feel it right now, but it was a good season for them.”

Also not helping matters was the Lancers’ top hitter, junior Gracie Crawhorn, getting the bat taken out of her hands; she was intentionally walked three times and hit by a pitch. She did score twice, though, and will be a key returning player for Taylor next year along with Bieker, Kyah Streeval and Alix Streeval. Edinburgh only loses two players and will have some promising players coming up from middle school.

“We’ll get our numbers back up next year,” Taylor said. “We’re going to keep building.”