By Bonta Hill
In high school softball, an error or two can so often lead to misfortune.
Unfortunately for Urban School, two fielding errors and a bloop single led to a four-run fifth inning for Redwood Christian and and 7-3 loss for the Blues in the second round of the North Coast Section Division V playoffs on Friday at Lang Field.
“The errors hurt, of course, [and] those bloopers are going to kill you all day if you can’t get to them,” said Urban head coach Michele McMahon. “They’re tough, tough hits that [Redwood Christian] scored a lot of runs off.”
Urban sophomore starting pitcher Rosa Paratore, was able to dance around danger in the first four innings, including a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, where she got back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
Redwood Christian (15-7) broke through in the fifth inning, however, as Morgan Harries dropped in a single that just fell in front of the Urban outfielders, scoring Jena Forsberg and Haley Anderson to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.
The Eagles tacked on two more runs after Urban fielders failed to come up with two pop-outs, trying to shield their eyes from the sun.
Redwood Christian sophomore pitcher Heidi Nam had a no-hitter through four innings, but in the fifth, the Blues (10-6-1) finally got on the board.
Urban scored two runs on back-to-back RBI-singles from Elly Fireside Ostergaard and Nicole Greenberg.
Momentum was with the Blues in the bottom of the sixth inning, until a close call at home plate went the Eagles’ way.
Down 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning with the bases loaded and one out, Ostergaard hit a grounder to Redwood Christian shortstop Bethany Frech, whose throw home beat Urban’s Abby Shantz to the plate, much to the dismay of the Blues’ cheering section.
“That was a big turning point in the game,” McMahon said. “It was a very close play at home and we weren’t able to grab the momentum back, and that hurt us.”
Redwood Chrisian’s Clare Dunnegan led off the seventh with an inside-the-park home run to center field, the last of ten Eagle hits on the day.
“That’s typically what we do,” said Redwood Christian head coach Jennifer Beck. “The early [innings] are a struggle for us, but we’ve got a great group of girls that did what they were supposed to do.”
Despite the loss, the future looks bright for Urban. The Bay Counties League West champions will have the majority of their roster intact next season, losing only three seniors to graduation.
“Redwood Christian is a very solid program,” McMahon said. “For my team to rise up to that level and hang in there with them, it just makes me really happy and excited for next season.”
RC – Morgan Harries
RC – Clare Dunnegan singles, Harries scores
RC – Alexandra Davis reached on fielding error, Dunnegan scores
U – Elly Fireside Ostergaard singles, Elena Goldstein scores
U – Nicole Greenberg singles, Abby Shantz scores
RC – Dunnegan triples, Haley Anderson scores
U – Goldstein scores on fielders choice
RC – Dunnegan homers to center