WARSAW – After nearly two weeks between games, it looked as though Warsaw hadn’t unpacked its Spring Break bags Tuesday.
Plenty of mental errors along with some physical ones clouded the Lady Tigers in a 12-2, five-inning softball loss to visiting East Noble.
“We talked about a lot of the very things we did during the game before the game,” offered Warsaw head coach Kevin Dishman. “We said, don’t swing at the high pitches. She throws a rise that goes completely out of the zone, stay off of it. We swung at the high pitches. We didn’t make the smart plays with the ball when they had people running the bases. We just made too many silly, little mistakes that all added up pretty quick.”
Warsaw found itself in a hole very quickly, a mistake in the zone by Courtney Chookie to Dani Jacquay after a long at bat was pounded well over 240 feet out of the yard for a 3-0 lead. After the Tigers executed a nice double tag by Lindsey Bradley and Hailey Locke for a double play in the second, the same duo watched a spinning pop up by Grace Erwin drop between them as another run came around to score.
A tailor-made double play ball with one out in the fourth wound up sailing into right field, allowing two more runs to score, and Jacquay later pounded another Chookie offering into uncharted grass for another RBI. Halle Beiswanger also added a two-run single as East Noble was doing seemingly whatever it wanted on offense.
The nine hits and 10 runs Chookie gave up were not indicative of her actual performance. Chookie saw her defense make four physical errors and have several other chances go bounding away on bad angles or overthrows. Dishman noted the time off between its first game, March 27 against Mishawaka, and Tuesday had the team only conduct a couple practices because of the school break. Mix in his lineup playing in his desired positions for the first time, along with five RBIs from Jacquay and four RBIs and three runs scored from Erwin, and it was one of those live-and-learn nights.
“If I’m being honest, it starts with our pitcher not hitting her spots,” Dishman said. “We get them down two strikes and they are taking her out pitch and driving it. They hit some balls really hard when we are up in the count.”
Warsaw managed just three hits off Jacquay in the circle, but had something cooking in the third. Carmen Albertson opened the inning with a walk and a throwing error on a Avery Sleeth bunt, and a wild pitch brought in Albertson. Bradley then drove in Sleeth with a sharp single, but Jacquay kept the score at 4-2 with strikeouts of Izzy Dittmar and Chookie.
Warsaw (0-2) will get right back at it Wednesday when it hosts Fort Wayne Carroll.
“We would rather play again right away against a top-notch program like Carroll is than play a lesser program,” Dishman said. “We want to make sure we see the best the area has in our pre-conference season. We’ll turn it around and iron some things out and do better tomorrow night.”