NASHVILLE — The Columbus East softball team dug itself into another early hole in Friday night’s nonconference softball game against host Brown County.
The Olympians found themselves down five runs after two innings, and despite a couple of rallies in the third and fifth innings, they came up short in a 7-4 loss.
“We did not start off great, and it seems like a pattern with this team that we give up three or four runs in one inning,” East coach Rusty Brummett said. “A couple of things I thought were routine plays that we just did not make. We can’t give extra outs. After that, I thought we battled back really well.”
The Olympians (2-2) had a costly error in the first inning that led to a 1-0 Brown County lead, and the Eagles (3-1) got hot at the plate in the second inning. Rachel Smith knocked in the first run with a single, and then Vicky Kelp smacked a two-run double. Kelp later scored on an Alyson Simpson single to make it 5-0.
Kelp, who was also the starting pitcher for the Eagles, finished 3 for 4 with two doubles and four RBIs.
“The girls started to go with the pitch and take it,” Brown County coach Kevin Greve said. “We have some line drive hits to right field that got us going and the hitting was contagious. The girls are really starting buying in to the philosophy of hitting.”
The Olympians fought back in the third inning. After Kendra Pastrick walked and Elyse Babb hit a single, Hayley Smalley hit a three-run homer over the fence in left field to cut into the Eagle deficit, 5-3. Unfortunately for the Olympians, that was Kelp’s only blemish in the game.
“Vicky pitched great and she has been working hard this season with her command,” Greve said. “She has her moments where she can lose it, but tonight she was on it, and it was her best performance so far.”
The Olympians added another run in the fifth inning when Pastrick walked for a third time in the game and advanced to third on a single by Smalley. She then scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-4.
Kaitlin Wagner represented the game-tying run in the top of the sixth inning for the Olympians when she hit a two-out single and stole second base to get into scoring position, but the Olympians couldn’t convert. The Eagles put the game away in the bottom of the sixth when they added two more runs.
“We still are not executing the little pieces. Right now, we are a good ball team, but we want to go from good to great,” Brummett said. “I’m disappointed with how we played today. Credit to Brown County — Coach Greve is starting to turn the program around — but I felt like if we played to our potential today, this is a game we should win.”