Prep softball: Errors cost Cougars on diamond

NEW MATAMORAS – Seven errors haunted the Frontier High softball team Wednesday, as the Lady Cougars fell 7-2 to Buckeye Trail.

Frontier starter Chelsea Hays went the distance on the mound, striking out six and walking three. Although she allowed 11 hits, Hays got little help from the defense, as the Lady Warriors took advantage of seemingly every Cougar miscue.

Trail’s Allison Sichina pitched a complete game, punching out 13 Frontier batters and issuing five free passes. Sichina gave up a run in the first inning, but settled down from there, holding the Cougars scoreless until the sixth.

“(Sichina) just settled in and started throwing strikes,” said Frontier coach Andy Neader. “She just started throwing better, got better control. She started finding the outside corners, keeping the ball away from us.”

The Warriors jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Catie Smith poked a one-out double to left field and moved to third on Courtney McGitton’s bunt single. Kaleigh Smith then brought both runners in on a single through the left side.

Frontier cut the lead in half in the bottom half of the opening frame. Taylor Rinard reached on an error and advanced all the way to third via a stolen base and a wild pitch. Hays helped her own cause with a single to left to plate Rinard and make it 2-1.

After a scoreless second inning, Kaleigh Smith struck again in the third for Trail. With Catie Smith standing at third, Kaleigh smashed a double deep to center field to give the Warriors a 3-0 advantage.

The lead became a little more comfortable for Buckeye Trail in the fourth. Three Frontier errors in the inning led to three runs for the Warriors, making it a 6-1 game.

“They were able to capitalize on our mistakes,” Neader said.

“We had a few errors that we should have been able to field.”

The Cougars got a run back in the sixth inning. Laken Camino led off the frame by reaching on an error, followed by an infield single from Ashley Keith. Heather Ogaz, the leadoff hitter for Frontier, then doubled to right field to bring home Camino and make it a four-run game.

The Warriors immediately answered however, getting another unearned run in the top of the seventh to make it 7-2.

Hays drew a walk with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Sichina slammed the door with back-to-back strikeouts to end the game.

Frontier fell to 2-9 overall and 1-3 in the Pioneer Valley Conference with loss.

The Cougars are right back in action today when they travel to Beverly to take on Fort Frye at 5 p.m.