The last thing any softball coach wants is to see his or her team handing extra chances to an opponent with mistakes in the field.
Columbus East handed rival Columbus North a few additional opportunities Monday afternoon, and the Olympians paid dearly.
Errors helped extend what turned into a five-run fifth inning for the Bull Dogs, with a Christine Bombardiere home run capping off North’s 6-3 triumph at Southside Elementary School.
“You’ve got to get something started,” North senior shortstop Katie Prall said, “and after that the momentum just follows. The team gets into it, and runs follow after that.”
The Bull Dogs (4-8) trailed 2-1 going into the bottom of the fifth, having struggled to that point to get much going offensively against East starter Hayley Smalley. But when Madisyn Prince reached on an error to lead off the frame, it was a sign of things to come.
Prall followed with a single, and a throwing error allowed the runners to advance to second and third. Pinch runner Katelyn Boroughs scored the tying run when a hard-hit liner by Tommi Stowers was mishandled, and Bombardiere followed with a three-run shot over the wall in left field.
“The only thing you can do is, I guess, call a different pitch next time,” East catcher Elyse Babb said. “There’s really nothing you can do.”
Makayla Caudill made it a 6-2 game when she reached on the fourth East error of the inning and scored on a Paige DeNeve double.
Prince earned the victory on the mound, striking out eight and not allowing a walk.
The Olympians (2-6) got on the board first when Kaitlyn Wagner led off the game with a double to center field, took third on a sacrifice and scored on a one-out single by Babb. North got the run back in the bottom of the first when Katie Prall took the first pitch to left center for a triple and scored after the throw to third got away.
Babb reached on a triple with one out in the fourth inning. The Bull Dogs were able to keep her at third when Hayley Smalley followed with an infield single, but a two-out wild pitch allowed Babb to slide across safely and put the Olympians in front, 2-1.
Prall had two triples among her three hits for North. Babb had half of the Olympians’ six hits, including a double and a triple, and scored a pair of runs.
East coach Rusty Brummett said allowing big innings has been a problem for his team this season, but that part of the problem has been a lack of confidence.
“Right now, it looks like people are looking around for bad things to happen instead of looking around for good things to happen,” Brummett said. “We’ve got to get these people moving in a positive direction and feeling good about what they’re doing, knowing that they’re working hard in practice and doing the stuff right, and it will pay off.”
Both teams are back in action today, with the Bull Dogs traveling to Bloomington North and the Olympians hosting Floyd Central.