Trojans fall to Freedom, softball wins big

Mar. 29, 2013 @ 07:16 AM

Chase’s Josh Epley threw six solid innings of baseball while striking out 12 batters, but fell victim to poor control and a shaky defense late as Chase dropped a hard-fought contest to Freedom 3-1 Thursday night.

“Over the past three games, our pitchers have been throwing really well,” said Chase coach Matt Tipton. “We just haven’t been able to come up with the big hit. You saw that tonight. Josh threw a great game but we left ten runners on base.” 

Chase (1-9, 0-5 SMAC) wasted little time getting on the board in the bottom of the first.  Epley sent a one-out double to the left center gap. He scored one batter later when Caleb Lancaster rolled an RBI single up the middle for a 1-0 Trojan lead.

Chase also threatened in the second, loading the bases with two outs. However, Robbie Evans bounced into a force out to end the inning.

One the mound, Epley spent the first two innings getting out of jams of his own, standing five runners in the first two innings.

From that point, Epley and Freedom pitcher Josh Ray settled down as the game sped by.

The Patriots did tie the contest in the fourth, thanks in large part to a two base error. Neither side could muster much offense until the top of the sixth when Freedom’s Landon Kinkaid delivered a two-run single to put the visitors in front 3-1.

Epley loaded the bases thanks to a pair of hit batters and a walk. Chase brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom half when Aaron Ballinger worked a two out walk but Epley popped out to end the threat.

Evans came on in relief and worked a scoreless seventh inning, but Chase went in order in the bottom half as they fell 3-1.

The Trojans return to action Tuesday as they take part in the Easter Tournament at McNair Field.

SOFTBALL:Lady Trojans power past Freedom

HENRIETTA — The Chase Trojan softball team had not seen any game action in over a week, but there bats showed no signs of rust as they pounded Freedom 7-1 Thursday afternoon.

“I was worried that the long layoff would hurt us, but we came out and swung the bats well,” said coach Daniel Bailey. “Ashley [Hardin] and Avery [Wilson] each hit big home runs that got our confidence going and everybody else just followed. We have won four in a row now and we are really starting to hit our stride.”  

After Dakota Reid worked a scoreless top of the first, the Lady Trojans offense appeared poised for a big inning. Chase (4-2, 4-1) loaded the bases with no outs thanks to a pair of hits and an error. They failed to score though as Hardin popped out and Erika Dover rapped into a 1-2-3 double play.

The home team did not miss their opportunity in the second. Kaitlyn Smart singled through the left side and one out later Wilson deposited a two run homer over the centerfield wall for 2-0 Chase.

The Lady Trojans played long ball again in their next at bat. Devyn Gowan led off the frame with a single and scored ahead of Hardin’s homer which made the tally 4-0.

After Freedom scratched the scoreboard in the fourth, Chase responded a three run outburst in the bottom half. Gowan drove in Reid with an RBI single and Hardin followed with a two run single to put Chase up 7-1.

Armed with that six run lead, Reid settled down in the circle as she struck out at least one Patriot batter in every inning while Hardin led the offense with five RBIs in the 7-1 win.

Chase steps out of conference next week as they will participate in the Grand Strand Softball Classic in Myrtle Beach before returning to host rival East Rutherford on April 9.