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Olympians fall to Grizzly Cubs on softball field


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Throughout much of the Columbus East-Franklin softball game Tuesday, both teams were trying to find windows of opportunity to score but were left empty-handed.

After Taylor Hilderbrand brought in a run for the Olympians to take a 3-2 lead in the fourth, the Grizzly Cubs’ bats were too much to handle, connecting on seven hits and three runs to beat East 6-3.

“Our bats cooled off,” East coach Sonny Stahl said. “Our defense came out and played hard, but we weren’t able to hit the ball. We got good hits early on, but we faded out late in the game.”

Hilderbrand scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fourth when Kaitlyn Huffman singled to right field. Franklin responded when Grace Paszek connected on a double to right to bring Whitney Shapp home, followed by a two-run double to left by McKenzie Writt. At that point the Cubs led 5-3.

The Cubs (2-2) then added an insurance run in the seventh from a double by Baleigh Potter to bring in Writt. The Olympians (2-6) were unable to answer, hitting two pop fly’s and a strikeout.

“Our lower part of the lineup is hitting the ball well,” Stahl said. “We need the whole lineup to stay consistent throughout the game, and once we do that, we’re going to be pretty tough.”

Stahl said East’s consistency at the plate must improve.

“Our lower part of the lineup is hitting the ball well,” Stahl said. “We need the whole lineup to stay consistent throughout the game, and once we do that, we’re going to be pretty tough.”

Both teams got on a roll early in the contest, scoring two runs apiece in the first inning.

Franklin struggled defensively in the first, having five errors. East had only one error the entire game.

“We started the game off with five straight errors,” Paszek said. “We knew we had to step it up defensively against them. We had two runs early on, but you can’t win ballgames making early mistakes like we did, so the girls stepped it up and came through and put up a great game.

“We have had goals all season,” she said. “We want to be able to pull through in close games like these and have those innings where we put up big runs.”

Williams said East’s confidence needs to improve at the plate in order to pull through in close situations.

“We can’t make mental mistakes,” Williams said. “We just need to stay focused, positive and come out the next game ready to play.”

Even in the chilly conditions, Paszek praised the Cubs’ ability to hit the ball. They outhit the Olympians 13-9.

“It was a little chilly today,” Paszek said. “The girls were still able to make excellent contact with the ball, and that’s what we need to do to get better.”

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