The last few weeks of the regular season culminate in a number of must-win games but for the Horseshoe Bend Generals softball program, their campaign changed slightly after falling to Vincent 4-0 in the opening round of regionals.
For the first few innings, it was apparent that each program was feeling each other out. Horseshoe Bend was well enough to keep their opponent off the board while Vincent was wary of the potential power and offensive prowess the team possessed.
After the first inning, Horseshoe Bend had two runners reach base but couldn’t find a way to get them back across the plate.
The second inning was almost the same as Kennedy Templeton tripled to lead the inning off but the Generals struck out back-to-back-to-back as their golden chance to score vanished.
The third inning was the same for the Generals, two runners reached base safely but in the end, they couldn’t drive a runner in.
It was an issue the Generals continued to have throughout the contest and where the program struggled the most began to appear.
Coach Hagen Whiteard knew her squad had a small issue with being consistent. Although they were able to be consistent throughout the area tournament, it was still a thorn in the programs’ side.
Vincent struck for a big inning in the fourth. Two singles led off the inning and Caly Carlise coughed up a tough walk to load the bases. An infield fly kept the score tied at 0-0 but an error brought home the first run of the game.
Right after, a passed ball drove in Vincent’s second run and another error cost the Generals a third run.
“We’ve talked about that a couple of times this season where we have one bad inning,” Whiteard said. “They put some people on base, we made a couple of errors and they were able to take advantage of that and it hurt. It came back to bite us. We couldn’t generate hits to score so that one inning, it’s gotten us a couple of times this season.”
Vincent drove in their fourth and final run of the game on a sharp single to center in the fifth inning.
But it was the fourth inning that cost the Generals their game in the end and it may have been some small jitters after the first error that crept into the team’s thoughts as well.
“We’ve struggled with this a lot this season,” Whiteard admitted. “I know we’ve talked about it a couple of times about consistency. And there it is. It’s shown up again. Sometimes they feed off of each other and one mistake leads to another. Like I said – one bad inning.”