DANVILLE — A young Danville Blue Devils softball team learned just how costly a couple of mistakes can be as they let their season opener get away from them, losing 6-2 to the River View Black Bears.
Sophomore Taylor Spang fired a three-hitter for the Black Bears, striking out 15 Blue Devils — five were caught looking.
“We always open up with River View,” said Danville coach Maryellyn Matheny. “They’re tough. They’re hard to beat, and I think we competed up until we had a little meltdown, but those are going to come.”
Danville, who scored in the second, managed to hang on to a 2-1 lead. Pitcher Morgan Lauderbaugh and third baseman Emily Hughes reached on back-to-back errors, giving Danville runners at first and second with nobody out. Second baseman Morgan Sinnett stroked a bases-clearing triple to put the Devils on ahead.
It was still 2-1 with one away in the top of the sixth. Morgan Lauderbaugh had a sparkling one-hitter going for Danville.
“Morgan did an excellent job and I’m really proud of her,” said Matheny. “This is hard weather to pitch in for any pitcher. It’s easier and not nearly as cold, when you’re winning. Our scrimmages got canceled on Saturday and that doesn’t give us much time to prepare. Molly (Alberts) came in and did a good job closing us out.”
Catcher Darci Lauderbaugh got a pair of hits for the Blue Devils.
Unfortunately for Danville, errors by Hughes and Danville shortstop Sami McFadden, along with a single by Bree Brown of River View opened the door for the Black Bears. Shortstop Tyler Lahna broke the game open with a bases-loaded double, giving the Black Bears a 4-2 lead. Lahna scored herself on a fielder’s choice to put the Black Bears on top, 5-2.
“The sixth inning pretty much killed us,” said Matheny. “We started out good. We got the first out. Then, we got error-hit-error and then, big hit. They just kind of fell apart but we have come a long way. We only have four returnees from last year so they have big shoes to fill. They worked hard and I am really proud of them.”
In the junior varsity game, Danville took advantage of eight River View errors to win, 11-4. Kat Mickley pitched all seven innings for the Blue Devils (1-0), striking out nine.
Melanie Alberts and Ashlynne Hurlow each led the team with two singles; and Jessie Swain, Jenna Richert, Emily Pew and Mickley each stroked a single.