LHS softball falls to Parkland
The Liberty Hurricanes did everything Coach Sam Carrodo asked them to do in their 3-2 loss to Parkland last Friday at Parkland.
They hit, they ran, they threw, they stole, and when two calls did not go their way, they took the loss with disappointment, but what was more obvious was that they took it with respect.
The first call was on a suicide squeeze in the third inning.
Hurricane catcher Cailin Donegan hit a single down the right field line. Mikayla Ruppert was thrown out on a fielder’s choice, and Donegan went to second base. Alexa Berger singled, Donegan went to third, and Berger then stole second. Reyna DeJesus walked, and the bases were loaded with one out.
Kristin Kaleycik drove in Donegan to make the score 2-1 Trojans. With the bases still loaded, Skilee Diaz laid down a bunt, but Ruppert was called out on a close play at home.
The second call was on what appeared to be an in the park home run in the seventh inning.
With the score 2-2, DeJesus smashed a ball to deep right center field. The senior outfielder dove toward home plate as Trojan catcher Ashley Gallina got the throw from first baseman Shauna Frank.
“Halfway down the third base line, I was thinking, this is it, and then she tagged me after,” DeJesus said. “I felt like I was safe. I’m pretty upset about it, but there’s nothing I can do about it. The emotions are still high and low, but we just tried to stay calm.”
Carrodo inquired to the home plate umpire who then conferred with the first base umpire, but the call remained.
“When you lose a game like that, it’s a victory,” said Carrodo.
The Trojans scored their third run in the bottom of the seventh when Aubree Fritzinger scored on an error.
The Hurricanes had tied the game in the fifth inning.
DeJesus had a single and made it to third base on a hit down the right field line by Kaleycik. Diaz was out at first on a fielder’s choice, and DeJesus scored.
“I was noticing she was pitching me outside, so I was trying to crowd the plate, and Aubree [Fritzinger] always hits her spots, so when she hit the outside corner, I knew it was the perfect spot,” Kaleycik said. “It felt really good because this was the inning we needed to score runs.”
Kaleycik also made a catch at third base in the bottom of the fifth that saved a base hit.
“I played volleyball, but even then, I never jumped that high in my life. I kind of waited until the last second to jump,” she said.
Jess Watts tried to get things going again for the Hurricanes in the top of the sixth inning with a triple.
“I think [Coach Carrodo] was saying third, and I knew I wasn’t that fast, but then I stepped on base, and I was so excited, so really, I just needed to keep running,” said Watts.
Hurricane pitcher Paige Zigmund felt that her rise ball and change up were working well for her on Thursday.
“I felt like I was overthrowing in the beginning. It was a high stress game, but my coach said, ‘You’re a freshman in a big game. You’re going to do good,’” Zigmund said. “I’ve pitched a lot of the hard games, so I try to stay calm.”
Liberty will host Freedom, another big game, at 1 p.m. on Saturday.