Lady Tigers continue to show progress despite loss

Chris Bowie

As Pilot Grove Lady Tigers softball coach George Monk sees it, the 24-1 loss Thursday night at home against the Harrisburg Bulldogs doesn’t reflect the gain his team has made on the field.

While the Bulldogs scored 15 runs in the first-two innings to pretty much seal the win, Monk said Harrisburg scored many more runs than they should have had Pilot Grove’s defense been more polished.

Pilot Grove scored its only run of the ballgame in the bottom half of the first and finished the game with only one hit. Harrisburg, meanwhile, tacked on nine more runs in the fourth to end the game by the run rule. The Lady Bulldogs also out-hit Pilot Grove 12-1.

Monk said every game the players are getting closer to understanding what it takes to play this game at a higher level.

“We have some very young players in key positions that are working as hard as any coach can ask of them,” Monk said. “We run a long practice yet our inexperienced players are asking for more time on the field to work on their game. As a coach, that is a wonderful attitude that keeps us coming back. I know that we will get better each game and at some point all the work they are doing will pay off.”

Marci Lammers took the loss in the circle for Pilot Grove, 0-2. In four innings pitched, Lammers gave up 24 runs on 12 hit and 16 walks while striking out seven batters.

Monk said he is happy with the gains Lammers had on the mound. “She made some quality pitches by placing the ball where it needed to be to take advantage of some holes in the hitters swings,” Monk said. “If she can cut down on walks in the next few games, she is going to be tough to score on.”

Lammers also had the only hit in the game for Pilot Grove, being a single.

Defensively, Monk said Kaitlynn Maggard had a very solid game at third and Grace Phillips made two outstanding plays on a very polished slap hitter from Harrisburg.

“The scores of our games are not indicative of our attitudes on the field or during practice,”Monk said. “These girls are very focused on getting better and becoming better teammates. Senior Denae Lammers has been very helpful in keeping us from hanging our heads and watching out for each other.”

In the JV game, Harrisburg defeated Pilot Grove 7-2.

Grace Phillips took the loss for Pilot Grove by giving up seven runs on nine hits with one strikeout.

Marci Lammers went 2-for-3 in the game for the Lady Tigers with a single, home run and two RBIs. Grace Phillips had two singles and one RBI while Kaitlyn Maggard added one double.

Monk said Phillips did a fine job pitching as this was her first game. “No walks and a strikeout is a good start to her season as a pitcher,”Monk said. “Our hitting looked better as we took some nice swings and made good contact. Marci’s home run was an absolute crush to right field. Kaitlyn and Grace did their job at the plate and moved the ball around also. With the top of the order getting on base, we were able to put into motion some of the offensive strategies that we have been working on in practice. The players executed well and had some fun playing hard.”