By JUSTIN RAINS
In its biggest wins this season, the Elkhart softball team has been able to rely on a steady defensive performance in the field.
That usually steady defense let the Lady Elks down Tuesday, and the result was a 5-2 home loss at the hands of Garrison.
The loss drops Elkhart to 1-1 in District 19-2A play.
“That’s kind of our backbone is our defense,” EHS coach Brandy Martin said. “I feel like that’s what makes us a strong team, is we play good defense...and tonight it wasn’t there.”
Garrison’s first run in the top of the first came via an Elkhart error, when Elkhart left fielder Megan Davis misplayed a fly ball that ended up going over her head.
Garrison got on the board again in the third, when a runner moved from first to second on a wild pitch before advancing to third on a ground out and scoring on a double to left.
The Lady Bulldogs final run of the game didn’t come from an error, but from miscommunication by the Lady Elks.
After two singles to open the inning, Garrison popped up a ball toward second base.
Shortstop Tiffany Rosas, second baseman Courtney Cheatham and center fielder Courtney Lindsey all converged on the ball.
Rosas came away with the catch, but the three got tangled together and were unable to hold the runner at third base.
Elkhart got its lone run in the bottom of the third, when pitcher Catie Bridges led off the inning with a double to right-centerfield.
A Rosas bunt moved Bridges to third, and then scored on a throwing error by Garrison after a strike out of Lindsey in the next at-bat.
But, that’s all the offense that Elkhart could manage in the game, a game in which the Lady Elks had only three hits, and didn’t have an inning with more than one.
But, that doesn’t mean that Elkhart didn’t make solid contact.
Twice, Robin Grant rocketed the ball straight at a Garrison player, and Cheatham roped a double down the line in the bottom of the seventh.
“We’ve been having good offensive at-bats,” Martin said. “But, it’s just one of those nights. I feel like our defense gets down and it affects our offense.”
Cheatham would come around to score on an error by Garrison, but Elkhart could get no closer.
The Lady Bulldogs broke the game open in the fourth, scoring twice behind a walk, a sacrifice bunt and then a base-clearing triple.
Elkhart will have to rebound quickly, as the Lady Elks welcome in Crockett Friday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
CAYUGA 29, Fruitvale 0
The Cayuga baseball team opened up district play Tuesday, and did so in an unreal fashion.
The Wildcats brought 29 runs across the plate in a 29-0 dismantling of Fruitvale Tuesday.
Cota Wilburn, Brayden Walthall and Chandler Rigdon all had two hits in the win, with Wilburn scoring five runs in the victory.
Both Walthall and Rigdon scored four times in the win for the Wildcats (7-2, 1-0).
Cayuga returns to action Friday, when the Wildcats host Trinidad at 5 p.m.