BOBCAT CLASSIC: BCLUW’s high hopes for the week come unraveled in the end

An enduring week came to an exasperating finish for the BCLUW softball team.

Playing its ninth game in six days, the Comets’ demanding slate took its final toll in the last game of the Bobcat Softball Classic Saturday.

Class 2A No. 9 ranked BCLUW couldn’t fend off a late Marion rally, dropping an 8-7 eight-inning affair to finish 0-3 on the second day of the invitational.

The Indians bounced back from a 6-2 deficit with four runs in the top of the seventh before Mahlia Brown’s ground out plated Kirsten Way for the go-ahead run in the eighth.

“They’re tired,” BCLUW coach Casey Moberly said of her squad, which committed four errors in the game and a total of 11 on the day. “They let it slip – they know it, but we’ve got a big week next week so there’s nothing to do but climb back on and do it again.”

The Comets (18-8) came into Saturday with victories in 10 of its last 11 games, though their defensive miscues played a major role in their current three-game skid.

“Our defense had quite a few miscues today that don’t normally happen,” said Moberly. “But nine games in six days – it’s going to wear on you.”

BCLUW opened with a stiff test against Class 3A No. 7 ranked Bondurant-Farrar, dropping a 1-0 decision, before giving up an eight-run inning in a 10-7 five-frame loss to Class 1A No. 6 Lynnville-Sully.

Though they came up empty in the win column, Saturday was far from a lost cause for the Comets.

“That’s why I took the third game today,” said Moberly, who believes this week’s busy stretch will pay dividends come tournament time. “It’s going to do nothing but build character and show them that we can do it and we’ve been there. … It shows the girls that no matter how many times you’re down – get back up and keep going.”

The Comets fought back from an early 2-0 deficit against Marion to score three in the third and another trio in the sixth. Kendall Scurr finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, while Nicolette Simpson doubled and scored once with a 2-for-4 tally. Sarah McCoy, Makayla Van Cleave each drove in a run.

BCLUW had the upper hand in the start of their midday game against Lynnville-Sully with a 3-2 edge after the first, before the Hawks retaliated with eight runs in the third. Lynnville-Sully (24-4) made use of two passed balls, four errors and six hits in the at-bat to pull away.

The Comets used some small ball to plate one run in the fourth and three more in the fifth before the 90-minute time limit ended the game early.

“I told the girls ‘My money is on us if we play a full game there,'” Moberly said. “We were playing a lot better defensively and offensively we were just putting stuff together. We play seven innings instead of a time limit and that game is ours.”

Olivia Callaway replaced Simpson to start the fourth and retired all five batters she faced including three strikeouts, before the game was called midway through the fifth.

McCoy led the Comets with two hits including a two-run triple, while Sara Sharp and Callaway each crossed the plate once and brought in a run. Mallory Vawter was 2-for-2 and scored once.

Offense was a lot tougher to come by against Bondurant-Farrar (17-9) as the Comets were limited to four hits with Scurr tallying a pair, while Callaway and Vawter each added one. Receiving its toughest test from BCLUW, the Lady Jays finished 5-0 over the weekend and outscored their opponents 34-8.

Cailey Schlenker tossed a four-hit shutout, while fanning four and walking two in seven innings. Keely Bycroft plated the lone run of the game scoring Katie Norton with a single in the fifth.

“We hit pretty well, we just couldn’t get it through the infield,” Moberly said. “(Schlenker) mixed things up pretty well, but I thought we made the adjustments today, which we haven’t been making in the past so that’s promising.”

Callaway took the loss allowing one run on four hits, while striking out four, walking three and hitting one in a complete game effort.

The Comets stranded two runners in the first and had another scoring chance thwarted in the sixth when Scurr reached base on a throwing error but was tagged out on her way to second.

The Comets enter another important week of games starting with South Hardin at home Monday. BCLUW travels to Class 2A No. 7 AGWSR Tuesday, before hosting West Marshall Thursday.

What wasn’t represented in the final scores was still evident in the Comets’ play as Moberly believes her squad has the intangibles to make a run in the postseason.

“We have the ability,” Moberly said. “We have the sticks in the lineup and the gloves in the field. … No matter how many times we got knocked down today, the girls kept fighting back. They never quit.”