Lady Jaguars split again
Moms finished their conversations, the sun went down and the stands cleared by the time Mill Valley coach Michelle Mages finished her post-game ranting.
After a 6-1 victory in Game 1 against Bishop Ward Monday afternoon, Mages was expecting her team to complete its first doubleheader sweep of the season.
So when the Jaguars went out in Game 2 and gave up four unearned runs in a 5-4 loss, a season's worth of pent-up frustrations came out.
"We're OK with losing, and that's not OK," Mages said.
The Jaguars have now played three doubleheaders this season and split in all three.
"We're showing that we're capable of beating teams, why are we not?" Mages said she asked her team. "I gave them a homework assignment to come back with what they were going to do to make things better. No more excuses. No more trying to blame someone else. What are you going to do?"
Mill Valley dominated in the opener. Junior Ashley Jones pitched a complete game, seven-inning gem, giving up only one earned run and striking out 11 batters.
In the nightcap, MVHS senior Carleigh Berry opened the game with a single. She moved to second on a groundout by Madison Hargrove, stole third and then scored on a passed ball.
The Jags did not score again until the fourth inning when Katie Newhouse scored on an error and tied the game at 2-2.
Berry again did most the work in the fifth inning. She had an RBI triple and then scored on another groundout by Hargrove, giving the Jags a 4-2 lead. Then the Jags self-destructed.
The Jaguars committed an error to allow the Cyclones' leadoff hitter to reach base. Without the error, the Jags would have gotten out of the inning leading 4-3 after freshman pitcher Katelyn Appleby struck out what should have been the third out.
The following batter hit a two-run double, and Bishop Ward took a 5-4 lead.
"Your defense cannot give up errors and put that sort of pressure on you, where you can't make one bad pitch or else you're going to pay," Mages said.
Berry came up in the bottom of the seventh with one out and a runner on first. She was 3-for-3 for the game and had five hits on the day going into the at bat.
Bishop Ward's coach was noticeably worried when Berry walked to the plate. After swinging and missing at the second pitch, Berry connected on the third pitch she saw. She hit a deep line drive to center field right into the glove of the center fielder.
"That was the perfect pitch to hit; I just didn't hit it where I wanted to," Berry said.
Berry came out of a bit of slump with five hits Tuesday but said she would have given up any of those hits to come through in her final at bat.
"She was upset," Mages said. "She wanted to come through and get that done for the team. Winning is important for her."
With a 4-6 record, it's obvious that losing is getting old for Berry.
"We should not lose to Bishop Ward," Berry said. "I've never lost to Bishop Ward."
Fresh off of the disappointing loss to Ward, the Lady Jags host Bonner Springs at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 26.