By JUSTIN RAINS
Mistakes and miscues littered the Palestine softball team’s final outing before the start of Spring Break.
The Ladycats committed seven errors and missed out on other opportunities as they fell to College Station, 17-6, at Ladycat Stadium on Friday.
The loss is Palestine’s first in non-tournament play.
College Station broke things open in the third, when the Lady Cougars already had a 3-1 lead.
But, College Station sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning, bringing five of them across to make it 7-1.
Of those five runs, only three were earned, and every runner that scored advanced at least once on either a wild pitch or a past ball.
It was a theme that would continue on the night.
Palestine answered with three of their own in the bottom of the third, with the first four Palestine batters of the inning reaching base.
Gabby Hudson led off the inning with a single and moved to second on an error that also allowed Nicole Thompson to reach in the next at-bat.
Amber Magee then reached when the College Station left fielder miss-played a fly ball, which allowed Hudson to score and Thompson to move to third.
Thompson then scored on another College Station error after Maribel Estrada reached on a fielder’s choice.
But, Palestine wasted an opportunity to score even more, as two sacrifice bunts loaded the bases but also put two outs on the scoreboard, and Palestine was unable to get any of the runs across.
College Station added four more runs in the top of the fourth to all but put things away.
The only thing in doubt was whether the game would end by mercy-rule or if it would go the distance.
With College Station up 14-5 after the fifth inning, the Lady Cougars plated a run again in the top of the sixth to give themselves a 10-run edge.
But, Palestine refused to go down without a fight, and plated a run of its own to extend the game into the seventh inning.
Hudson led off the bottom of the sixth with an infield single, and then promptly stole second base.
She came in to score on Thompson’s RBI single to left field, and then Thompson moved to third on Magee’s ground out to second.
But, the inning ended when Estrada struck out and then Thompson was caught trying to steal home on a wild pitch that bounced off of the concrete backstop and right back to the catcher at the plate.
Hudson finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate, scoring all three times she reached. Shelby Gabbard was a perfect 2-for-2 with two singles, also reaching on a walk and after being hit by a pitch.
Palestine (7-13) has one game remaining before the start of district play, as the Ladycats welcoming in John Tyler at 6 p.m. Tuesday.