ERIE — Unusual as it sounds, this season has been a bizarre roller-coaster ride for the perennial state title contender Erie High School softball team.
Some days the Tigers are locked in and looked like the team that won 10 state titles in the 11 seasons from 2000-2010. Others, the Tigers struggle and can’t quite seem to find their way.
On Thursday, Erie (9-8, 7-3 Tri Valley League) defeated the Mead Mavericks 7-1 at home. But though the final score may indicate a blowout, the Tigers exhibited a both the ups and downs they’ve experienced throughout the season.
“This season is like going to Vegas, taking a pair of dice and just throwing them down the runway and seeing what comes up,” Tigers head coach Bob Bledsoe said. “Unfortunately, we’ve thrown a lot of snake eyes. I don’t know what else to say.”
Against the Mavericks (8-9, 2-8 Tri-Valley), the Tigers fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first inning when Mavericks senior Tiana Harper drove in her 19th RBI of the season with a two-out single that scored junior Bree Boruff. Erie trailed until senior captain Tiffany Maul scored on Lyndsey Bauchert’s RBI single in the third inning.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the fifth that the Tigers finally broke the tie.
Bauchert reached first on an error to lead off the pivotal fifth. Next, back-to-back doubles from sophomore Rio Sanchez and junior Victoria Macias sparked a rally that ended in a six-run frame.
“A win is a win but there’s always room for improvement,” Sanchez said. “We know we have really high expectations and everyone wants to work and get better. Sometimes your mind just gets in the way of that. Right now we have a tendency to hold onto the past a little bit but we’re starting to get away from that.”
Entering Thursday’s game, the Tigers were coming off a 4-0 shutout loss at the hands of their top-ranked rivals from Frederick. Sanchez said that loss, and possibly coupled a 6-0 loss they suffered at the hands of the Warriors on Aug. 23, may have left them a little mentally weary.
On the mound, Sanchez looked fine allowing one run on two hits while striking out nine Mavericks in seven innings. She also went 2 for 3 at the plate.
The Tigers have now scored 69 runs this season. They have also allowed 69 runs this season.
While the Tigers were slightly annoyed with Thursday’s win, Mead head coach Amanda Macaluso was fairly pleased despite her team taking a loss.
“We played them so well the first four innings and didn’t let their legacy intimidate us,” Macaluso said. “It’s so easy to come into this place and know what they’ve done. We didn’t get too wrapped up in that and I’m really proud of those first four innings.”
Erie trounced Mead 13-1 on Sept. 2.
On the mound for the Mavericks, freshman Anna Veltien held her own. Utilizing her devastating change-up, Veltien allowed just two earned runs while striking out seven Tigers batters in seven innings.
With two games remaining on each team’s regular season schedules, the Tigers will play Holy Family (5-9, 2-6 Tri Valley) on Saturday. Mead plays Holy Family on Tuesday.
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Erie 7, Mead 1
At Erie H.S.
Mead (8-9, 2-8) 1000 000 0 — 1 2 2
Erie (9-8, 7-3) 001 060 0 — 7 11 0
W — Sanchez (5-6). L — Veltien.
Mead hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Boruff 2-1-0-0, Mill 2-0-0-0, Jellinek 3-0-0-0, Harper 3-0-2-1, Boaz 3-0-0-0, Regan 3-0-0-0, Sproul 1-0-0-0, Anderson 1-0-0-0, Veltien 1-0-0-0, Quintana 0-0-0-0, McDaniel 1-0-0-0. Totals 20-1-2-1. 2B — Harper.
Erie hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Glaze 3-1-2-1, Kudrna 4-1-2-2, Maul 4-0-0-0, Bauchert 4-1-1-1, Sanchez 3-0-2-1, Macias 2-1-1-1, Nelson 1-0-1-0, Fisher 2-0-0-0, Natal 0-1-0-0, Wilson 3-0-1-0, Wilson 3-0-1-0, Jardine 1-1-0-0, Foster 2-1-1-0. Totals 29-7-11-6. 2B — Kudrna, Sanchez, Macias. 3B — Bauchert. SB — Glaze.
Mead pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Veltien 7-11-7-2-5-7.
Erie pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Sanchez 7-2-1-1-3-9.