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Salem stings Lady Cats

April 29, 2009
Some teams and individuals don't react well to any type of delay before their event or game, and that certainly seemed to be the case Thursday afternoon for the North Harrison Lady Cat softball team.

Any sharpness the Lady Cats might have had before their game was burned away by the high voltage overhead as visiting Salem came away with a 2-0 Mid-Southern Conference win.

North Harrison’s Kayla Lambert, right, appears to make the tag on Salem’s Jordyn Wrablewiski on this steal attempt in the sixth inning, but Wrablewiski was called safe and went on to score in the Lady Lions’ 2-0 win. Photo by Wade Bell
"I don't blame the weather," North Harrison coach John Lambert said. "Mother Nature spoke up, and we just didn't respond to sitting and having to warm up pretty quick and getting ready to play."

The delay may have affected Salem, as well, as both teams failed to score in the first three innings. That changed in the bottom of the fourth, however, as the Lady Lions found pay dirt and put the first run on the board. With two outs, Kristie Taylor ripped a shot over Sasha Grangier's head in center field for a double. Jania Cornet followed that with a single, and Taylor crossed the plate. giving the Lady Cats something to think about.

North Harrison threatened in the bottom of the inning as Grangier walked and stole second with one out. That was as far as she got, however, as the Lady Cats failed to convert the run.

The top of the fifth inning saw some controversy following a single by Salem's Jordyn Wrablewiski. With Chelsey Hasty at the plate, Wrablewiski broke for second. Catcher Amber Longest's throw was high to Kayla Lambert, but Lambert appeared to make the tag. Wrablewiski, however, was called safe. Hasty then smacked a double to push Wrablewiski across the plate for a 2-0 lead.

"The call at second base, there's nobody to talk to," Lambert said. "You can't appeal it. The play's going to the umpire that's standing there, and whether he gets it or not, it's his call. You're not going to appeal it to home plate and get anything. You're not going to argue about it and win. When he called the play, until I saw the picture, I wasn't sure. Kayla told me she made the tag, so I'd believe her before anything else. I guess from his angle it was tougher than that."

North Harrison threatened to tighten the game in the bottom of the sixth. Lambert walked and went to third base on an Alyssa McAfee single. The situation changed, however, as McAfee made a base running mistake, advancing too far past the base and getting gunned down by Wrablewiski. Mary Robertson and Grangier both then struck out to end the inning.

The Lady Cats went three-up-and-out in the seventh as the Lady Lions got the 2-0 win.

"Grangier was on second once, Kayla was on second once and Kayla was on third once," Lambert said. "For us not being able to move those runners to be able to get in some kind of offense was tough because it was hard to do anything with it today."

North Harrison got with just three hits. Senior pitcher Jessica Kaufman tallied five strikeouts with no walks. The Lady Cats committed one error.

"I thought Kaufman did a super job on the mound today," Lambert said. "We just never got anybody on. We'd get one out, two outs, then we'd get a base runner. We just struggled hitting the ball. I don't know if it was from lack of focus or lack of effort, lack of energy or scared of lightning. I can't explain it."

Salem had five hits, two of those going for extra bases. Pitcher Megan Smith struck out nine Lady Cats and walked two. The Lady Lions made no errors.

Lambert said the loss puts his Lady Cat team in a tough position in the race for the Mid-Southern Conference championship.

"It's big," Lambert said. "The Mid-Southern Conference is a tough enough conference, when you play well and lose a game. … From here on out, every game is a must-win for us. For the last three years, the team that won the conference was perfect. We need some help and there's some teams out there that we haven't played yet that are really good teams."

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