ERIE — So far, Sam Foster has been the odd one out in Erie’s to-be-determined pitching hierarchy.
Don’t label the sophomore a malcontent, though. She’s just been contributing in different ways.
Foster played a gigantic role Thursday in the No. 3 Tigers’ 3-0 home win against Roosevelt, producing the go-ahead RBI single before nailing a Roughriders runner at the plate from right field to preserve the lead.
“I wanted to pitch at the beginning, but I’ve learned you have to be confident in any position he puts you in,” said Foster, referring to Erie coach Bob Bledsoe. “You have to accept it and not be down about it.”
Foster’s RBI single in the second inning gave the Tigers (7-2-1 overall, 5-0 Class 4A Tri-Valley League) a 1-0 lead. With Erie clinging to the narrow advantage in the fifth, Foster fielded Taylor Roth’s single to right and nailed Colorado State-bound Madie Kilcrease at the plate with a perfect throw.
Foster also threw out a runner at home Saturday in a win against Broomfield.
“I was kind of scared because the runner was really fast coming from third,” said Foster, who has made only one pitching appearance this season. “I just had to focus in and make a good throw.”
While Foster is settling in at right field and first base, Carrie Clarke continues to state her case for the primary pitching role. She threw a four-hit shutout, striking out six while issuing only one walk.
“I would say that I like it wherever I’m at, but overall I like being in the circle more than I do the outfield,” Clarke said. “But I’ll do whatever it takes to have us win.”
Erie gained some breathing room against the Roughriders (4-2, 3-2) in the bottom of the fifth, when freshman Rio Sanchez delivered a two-run single to make it 3-0. Sanchez, who played third base, is among those in the running for innings in the circle.
“I was trying to do anything I could to help my team,” Sanchez said. “My coaches came up to me and told me to use my hips and drive a line drive. I wasn’t thinking to hit it over the fence. I was thinking, drive that ball and see what happens.”
The contest featured a few puzzling plays, two with Erie’s Kenzie Kudrna at the plate. With the bases loaded in the second, Kudrna jogged to first after drawing what she thought was a bases-loaded walk. Problem was, the count only was 3-2.
Each Erie runner moved up, including Sanchez, who scored. Kudrna eventually was called back, and the runners had to retreat to their respective bases. Bledsoe argued that the run should count, because Roosevelt didn’t throw out what essentially were straying runners. Kudrna ended up popping out.
In the fourth, Kudrna doubled over the first-base bag. Problem was, umpires didn’t make a fair/foul call either way. Runners and fielders each were confused and half-heartedly running and chasing the ball. After a conference, umpires awarded the double.
Foster’s throw from right, though, was the snapshot of this one.
“I heard their coach saying at the beginning of the game that our outfield has arms,” Clarke said. “Sam Foster has a major arm.”
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Erie 3, Roosevelt 0
At Erie H.S.
Roosevelt (4-2, 3-2) 000 000 0 — 0 4 2
Erie (7-2-1, 5-0) 010 020 X — 3 10 2
W — Clarke (3-1). L — Wadsworth (2-2)
Roosevelt hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kilcrease 2-0-1-0, Roth 3-0-1-0, Lopez 3-0-0-0, Wadsworth 3-0-0-0, Obrecht 3-0-1-0, Flores 3-0-0-0, Regensburger 2-0-0-0, Cardona 1-0-0-0, Dronenburg 3-0-1-0, Ramirez 1-0-0-0. Totals 24-0-4-0. SB — Kilcrease.
Erie hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kudrna 4-0-1-0, Glaze 4-0-1-0, Toot 4-0-1-0, Maul 3-0-1-0, M. Foster 0-1-0-0, Clarke 2-0-1-0, Fisher 0-1-0-0, Kovets 3-1-1-0, Sanchez 2-0-1-2, S. Foster 3-0-1-1, VanLone 3-0-2-0. Totals 28-3-10-3. 2B — Kudrna, Maul. 3B — Name. HR — Name (grand slam in 4th). SB — M. Foster.
Roosevelt pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Wadsworth 5-10-3-3-2-3, Cardna 1-0-0-0-0-0.
Erie pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Clarke 7-4-0-0-1-6.