LAGRANGE — After losing big Monday, all Black River softball coach Larry Toth wanted from his team was a better effort.
He got it, but the Pirates fell for the second day in row to state-ranked Keystone, 6-1.
Black River is 6-5 overall and 5-3 in the Patriot Athletic Conference. The Wildcats are 10-3, 8-0.
“Today, we competed,” Toth said. “We played better. The kids competed. That’s all I can ask for. This is what we’re more capable of against a pretty good ballclub. (Monday) we didn’t compete.”
Monday, Keystone whacked three home runs and won 12-0. Tuesday, Black River managed to put a little bit of a scare into the Wildcats early, but couldn’t keep the pressure on.
Black River’s Lydia Wacker reached on an error and stole second and third. Emily Zumack grounded to third, but Wacker couldn’t advance. Grace Spencer hit into a double play that allowed Wacker to score, but Keystone sophomore Sydney Campbell struck out Kayla Gardner to end the threat.
Black River only had one other good chance to score, but another double play bailed out Campbell again. This time, Gardner sent a fly to right with one out and runners on second and third. Autumn Acord made a running catch and fired a strike to shortstop Madi Nunez at second base to double up Spencer.
Wacker had two hits on the day with Spencer and pitcher Hanna Barco getting the others. Black River committed three errors and walked four Keystone hitters.
“We had some dropped balls and gave up some walks at the wrong time,” Toth said. “Baserunning got us in trouble, too. I really think we’re going to get on more of a roll. We really are. The kids competed today.”
Contact Tim Gebhardt at firstname.lastname@example.org.