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Lady Rebels fall to Maiden 5-0

Short stop and leadoff batter Karsen Leonhardt takes a swing on Friday.

Sain: Lady Rebels need gut check, confidence boost before conference play begins Friday against Cherryville

MICHAEL GEBELEIN
Sports Writer

VALE — The West Lincoln Lady Rebels softball team has had a difficult start to the season.
They’ve dropped their first three games, most recently to the Maiden Lady Blue Devils 5-0 on Friday, but have almost all of this week off before beginning Southern Piedmont Conference play on Friday at home against Cherryville. West Lincoln head coach Tyler Sain said he was focused on making two things happen—getting hits, and turning those hits into runs.
“We can’t win if we don’t hit,” he said. “We’ve had seven hits in 23 innings and one run. But we hit the ball better against Maiden than we have previously, and this was a better pitcher than we’ve seen.”
The Lady Rebels have a youthful team, with three juniors, three sophomores, two freshmen and one senior in the starting lineup.
“There’s potential, and we’re young,” Sain said. “With one senior starting, it makes a big difference.”
Maiden jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Pitcher Hannah Callahan hit a double to center field to start the top of the second, but West Lincoln pitcher Rylee Marsh struck out three batters to end the inning with Callahan on third and Mollie Sigmon on first. Sigmon had reached first base on a throwing error.
Maiden pushed its lead to 3-0 in the top of the third when Jessica Cooper hit a two-run home run over the left field fence with two outs. Callahan hit a ground ball back to Marsh for a put-out at first to end the inning.
The Lady Rebels got their first runner in scoring position when second baseman Taylor Short hit a deep shot to center field for a triple to start off the bottom of the third. Five pitches into Katie Hively’s at-bat, Maiden catcher Carolina Ward dropped a passed ball, but Short was caught stealing home by Callahan in a hotly contested call.
Hively ground out to the pitcher and Lyla Sain hit a popup to the pitcher to end the inning.
Maiden added another run in the top of the fifth with Lindsey Schronce’s solo home run, and scored its final run in the top of the seventh with Christian Childers’ RBI-single.
Hively got one more hit for the Lady Rebels in the game with a double to center field in the bottom of the sixth.
Sain said most of the Lady Rebels’ problems at the moment were mental.
“We need to have a gut check, it looks like,” he said. “Everybody’s confidence is low. We need to play well one game to bring it back up. They need to find it within themselves, and take it upon themselves to go to the batting cage.”
Sain said the Lady Rebels have a tough task ahead of them against Cherryville on Friday.
“Cherryville is my pick to win the conference; they’re loaded this year,” he said. “They’re going to hit the ball well, and their pitcher beat us as a sophomore, she’s tough.”

Katie Hively takes off for first base.

Images courtesy of Ray Gora / LTN

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