Crashing back to Earth
After defeating Shelby Tuesday night, a team that came into the matchup with just one loss on their record, R-S Central fell to McDowell Wednesday night 7-0.
"We just came out flat," Central head coach Melvin Digh said after the loss.
The nightmare began in the first inning when two costly errors by Central allowed McDowell to post three quick unearned runs.
McDowell starter Courtney Buchanan mowed down the Hilltopper with seven of her 14 strikeouts coming in the first three innings. Ironically enough, Central's only two hits came in the first three innings, both singles from Brandy Whitener.
"We just didn't put the ball in play and that makes it easy on them," Digh said. "Their pitcher is great but we made her look better than she is today. When you strike out you can make anyone look good."
Central starter Makayla Crain settled into the circle with quick inning in the second and third, but the McDowell bats added another run in the fourth. Then the Hilltopper defense collapsed again in the fifth inning with three more errors resulting in two more unearned runs for McDowell to fall behind 6-0.
Only one batter reached safely for Central in the final four innings while McDowell padded their lead with one more run in the top of the sixth for the 7-0 final.
"Today , in ways, didn't mean anything because it isn't a conference game but we gotta do better. Tommorow [against Burns] we need to come out with more intensity," Digh said. "Burns is a big game for us and we need to come out prepared..
Crain finished the game allowing seven hits but only two earned runs. Six errors plagued the Hilltoppers.
"[Crain] is smart and knows how the game works and that errors happen," Digh said. "We just need to know that when we make an error we need to work around it and not let it cost us like it did today."