GEISMAR — Holden High School's three-run rally in the top of the seventh inning came up just short in a 7-6 loss to Dutchtown on Wednesday afternoon.
Sparked by a mishandled dribbler down the first base line off the bat of Taylor Barfield, the Rockets (20-8) cleared the bases and trimmed a four-run deficit to one before stranding the tying run on third to end the game.
Griffins pitcher Maddie West did just enough to avoid a crooked number against Holden, holding the Rockets to one run over her first five innings, despite leaving at least one runner on in each of the first five innings.
After back-to-back home runs by Taylor Douglas and Gracie Duffy in the top of the sixth and early trouble with baserunners in the seventh, Dutchtown coach Nancy Ensminger called on Sidney Dunham to finish off the final three batters.
Despite the late exit, West’s ability to get out of hot water on multiple occasions proved essential in a game that went down to the final at-bat.
“I was happy for her,” Ensminger said of West’s resilience. “She came in here with the mindset of, ‘I’m going to get to work,’ and I think she did a great job coming in there and commanding her pitches and keeping the batters off balance. I’m very proud of her for that.”
The Griffins (12-14) got off to a hot start in the bottom of the first when Brynne Songy sent a pitch over the right-center field fence for a two-run homer. Songy and third baseman Madi Mitchell combined for five of Dutchtown’s seven RBIs, while Douglas, Barfield and Duffy combined for the majority of the Rockets’ run production.
Douglas went all seven innings in the circle for the Rockets and helped her own cause with her solo homer in the sixth. Still, the Rockets left a plethora of baserunners on in the early innings, something that was costly in the eyes of coach Linzey Bowers.
“I’m hoping as an offense that we realize we can’t just keep looking at good pitches,” Bowers said. “We keep putting ourselves in a bad position because we’re taking way too many good pitches. Offensively we’re a really good team, but we make it a lot harder than it has to be. Tonight we didn’t get that timely hit and we didn’t attack the strike zone until we had to do it or go home.”