By Ryan Palencer
PLAINFIELD — Despite plenty of opportunities, it took nine innings for a single runner to cross the plate in a tightly contested game between Plainfield and Greenwood in Thursday’s Mid-State Conference softball game.
The visiting Woodmen downed the Quakers 1-0 in nine innings.
“I was really pleased with the effort,” Plainfield coach Brad Beaman said. “One of the things that we’ve been talking about, at some point they’ve to quit just competing and get back to where they need to be as winners. They have too much talent to not be winners. It was a gallant effort defensively and we hit the ball, we just didn’t have anyone step up in crucial situations.”
It was those spots that ultimately led to the demise of Plainfield.
But the lack of scoring was not due to a lack of opportunities. The Quakers stranded nine runners for the game — seven of which were in scoring position. The only inning Plainfield did not leave a runner on base was the fifth.
“It is tough (stranding that many runners),” Beaman said. “We started the week scoring 12 runs. Then we score three and then four, it’s frustrating. I know (Greenwood) is a very good team, but I think we’re a very good team, too.”
However, Greenwood also stranded five runners of its own. Much of this was due to the outstanding effort of Plainfield pitcher Erin Laswell, who tossed a complete game, allowing only the single run and striking out a pair.
Beaman thought that Laswell deserved a much better fate than she received.
“(Laswell) has been pitching her heart out all season,” he said. “She had a really tough year last year. She went through some health issues. She knows what it’s like to be sitting on the bench and not being able to play. Now she wants to get everything that she can before she leaves for college.”
After each team squandered several opportunities in the first eight innings, the Woodmen finally broke through in the top of the ninth.
Chelsea Norwood led off the inning with a single, but was out when Kelly Pevely reached on a fielder’s choice and went to second on a throwing error. Davis Carter singled back up the middle and the throw to the plate was not in time, as Pevely scored.
Plainfield did not give up in the bottom of the frame.
Kylie Cason reached on a throwing error and went to second when Taylor Scholl walked. However, the effort was not enough as the Quakers fell just short.
Cason lead the way offensively for Plainfield, reaching base three times. Mackenzie Reeder and Maggie Stahl each reached base twice.
Norwood led the way for Greenwood, going 2 for 4 from the plate. In addition, Megan Overton and Brittany Gray combined to shut out Plainfield on the mound.