Mount softball finds Pandas not so cuddly

by Tom Utescher
Posted 5/11/21

The Mount Magic had beautiful spring weather for last Thursday's home field softball game. The game itself turned out to be not so enjoyable, starting with a four-run spree at the top of the first …

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Mount softball finds Pandas not so cuddly

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The Mount Magic had beautiful spring weather for last Thursday's home field softball game. The game itself turned out to be not so enjoyable, starting with a four-run spree at the top of the first inning by visiting Nazareth Academy.

After the Pandas made it 5-0 in their half of the second, the Mount put up a run in the bottom of the inning, but the Magic would not score again. Nazareth collected another clump of four runs in the third, then scored two in the top of the fourth to attain an 11-1 lead. After a scoreless fifth frame, the game concluded as per the 10-run rule.

The Mounties were facing one of the top teams in the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies; the Pandas' only AACA loss had come in extra innings against league leader Villa Joseph Marie. They improved to 8-4 with Thursday's outcome, while the Magic fell to 2-9.

At the top of the first, a single and then an error put two Nazareth runners on base, but the Magic got the force-out at third when the next batter put the ball in play to junior shortstop Katie Convey (a Norwood Fontbonne Academy graduate).

A wild pitch then sent the lead runner to third. She would score on the next play, but at the same time MSJ senior Alex Ritter got the out at first all on her own, and it looked like the Mounties might get out of the inning without much more damage. Unfortunately for them, three Nazareth hits (one a double down the third base line) and an error by the Magic put the hosts in an 0-4 hole before they came up to bat for the first time.

The Mounties went down in order in the bottom of the first, but back out in the field, they were able to hold the Pandas to just one run in the top of the second.

With one out in the bottom half, MSJ senior Clare Moxey (another Norwood alum) singled to right field. The next batter struck out, but then Convey belted a line drive over the third baseman that bounced past the left fielder. She wound up on third base, and Moxey came home to make it 5-1. The next batter grounded out to end the inning, and the locals would not score again.

After the first Panda to the plate in the third inning singled, Mount sophomore pitcher Emily Vinal booked a strike-out. Things went downhill from there though. Several fielding errors, a steal, a passed ball, and an attempted rundown that went awry contributed to four more runs for the visitors. Ground-outs to Convey and Moxey finally retired the side.

Magic freshman Josie Liebsch drew a walk to start the home half of the inning, then a ground-out and two strike-outs followed. Nazareth had a new pitcher in the circle, since the starter had stumbled and injured herself at the end of the second frame.

Mount St. Joseph changed pitchers itself for the top of the fourth inning. Convey entered the circle as her team trailed, 9-1. A single followed by an RBI double to left center made it 10-1, moving the visitors closer to an early victory when the mercy rule came into effect in the fifth frame. After a strike-out, a ground-out moved the baserunner to third, and then Nazareth got its 10-run lead (11-1) on an infield error by Mount St. Joe's.

The Magic were only able to get a total of seven batters to the plate in the fourth and the fifth. Convey walked to begin the bottom of the fifth, but she got no further.

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