Lincoln off to 2-0 start

April 09, 2004|JILL ERWIN

STANFORD - Wayne County couldn't handle the balls Lincoln County put in play, and the Patriots took advantage of nearly every opportunity they received.

Four unearned runs and several key defensive plays by the Patriots helped them to an 8-5 win over the visiting Cardinals Thursday that pushed Lincoln to 2-0 on the year.

Last year, the Patriots didn't pick up their second win until they already had nine losses. This time around, things are going differently.

"We're very pleased," Lincoln outfielder Sam Stapleton said. "We've been really working on batting. We've gotten a whole lot better at that."


Lincoln did have seven hits, but the majority of its damage came due to mistakes by Wayne (0-6). Four errors in the second inning allowed Lincoln to bat around and score six runs, enough to win the game.

Jana Crabtree led off with a double and scored on two wild pitches. Jenny Ralston singled, and one out later, Becky Schuler reached on a passed ball third strike, allowing Ralston to score.

After a second out, Kayla Albright singled in Schuler. Then Wayne right fielder Chrissy Riggs misplayed three fly balls and a poor throw after one botched catch led to three more runs for Lincoln.

"We were able to take advantage of some of their errors," Lincoln coach Pam Young said.

Two innings later, Lincoln scored twice more on RBI hits from Stapleton and Crabtree.

"You relax a little bit when you get out 8-0," Stapleton said. "But you still have to be aware because the other team can still come back."

Crabtree regroups, ends threat

Wayne tried to do just that. The Cardinals scored three times with nobody out in the fifth inning on a hit batsman, a walk, a double and a single. Crabtree regrouped to get three straight outs and end the threat.

The Cardinals started another rally in the sixth on a leadoff single and a Lincoln error. That scored two runs and got Wayne within 8-5.

"I thought we got a little bit lax on defense after we got that big lead," Young said. "We got laid back. But they were able to pick it back up."

Crabtree retired six straight batters to end the game and hold the 8-5 lead.

Crabtree picked up her second win, striking out six, walking two and hitting two. She also had two doubles and an RBI. Stapleton added two singles and two runs scored.

However, Young was far from pleased with her team's day at the plate.

"I wasn't impressed with our hitting today," Young said. "We were making contact, but we weren't getting any power behind it. We were just lackadaisical at the plate. We weren't nearly as aggressive as we were in our first game."

That first game was a come-from-behind win over Garrard County last week. Young's team gave up four first-inning runs before rallying to win.

"We showed more determination then," Young said. "I don't think we're going to be a team that can be lax and still win the game. That kind of worries me a little bit that we got lazy and laid back."

Chandra Pyles of Wayne County had two doubles.

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