Early mistakes hurt Wildcats

Brief losses in concentration.

They have hampered the Oak Harbor fastpitch team all season and they hurt them one more time in an 8-2 home loss to Monroe on Monday afternoon.

“It’s hard because we always have one bad inning,” Oak Harbor coach Rayna Trahan said. “It varies—the past two weeks it’s been the sixth or seventh inning—it just depends on when they lose their focus.”

Instead of a late game collapse, the Wildcats experienced their woes early Monday.

What should have been an easy groundout by Monroe’s first batter of the game, turned sour for the Cats. Third baseman Kristen Barone made an accurate toss to Lindsey Bear covering first, but the umpire ruled she bobbled the ball on the catch. Monroe made OHHS pay for the error, following with an RBI triple from Kailyn Ellinger and an RBI double from Mollie Nelson.

Oak Harbor’s miscues carried over into the second inning, when they committed two more errors and allowed the Bearcats to score four runs for a 6-0 advantage.

Like they have done all season, the Wildcats were able to regain their focus after making mistakes.

OHHS retired Monroe in order in the top of the third, then followed in the bottom half of the inning with two runs of their own.

Freshman Aimee Martin got things rolling with a line single up the middle. Senior Kristin Ross then put Oak Harbor on the board, hustling out a bunt down the third base line. Monroe pitcher Adrienne Heffner fielded the ball, but threw it over first base. Martin sprinted around the bases to score and Ross ended up at third. On the ensuing pitch the ball got by the Bearcat catcher and Ross slid across home plate just under the tag to pull Oak Harbor to within 6-2.

“I think they did a good job after the first couple innings,” Trahan said of her team. “To me it looked like we were going to be 10-runned pretty early and I’m glad they were able to hold them off.”

The Bearcats tacked on single runs in the fourth and seventh to round out the scoring.

Although the Wildcats (0-8, 1-11) have yet to win a WesCo North game, Trahan is happy with the way things are going. Last year Oak Harbor was unable to go the full seven innings against several league opponents because of the 10-run rule. Through the first half of the WesCo North season, OHHS has gone the distance in every one of its games.

“That’s one of our goals this year, is to not get 10-runned by any of our league opponents,” Trahan said.

Next on the list of goals will be to pick up that first league win.

“We’ve come so close, so many times,” Trahan said. “If they can continue their focus, I think we’ll be able to do it sometime soon.”

The Wildcats return to the field at 4 p.m., Tuesday, April 20 at home against Stanwood. The Spartans narrowly defeated Oak Harbor, 6-5, in their first meeting of the year.

Monroe 240 100 1—8 9 1

Oak Harbor 002 000 0—2 3 5

Howard and Lib. Bear. Heffner and Holmes. WP-Heffner. LP-Howard (1-10). Records-Oak Harbor 0-8 league, 1-11 overall. Monroe 4-3 league, 8-3 overall.

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