Sunday, March 18, 2018

Hardin softball player Karissa DuShane races the ball Tuesday afternoon on the way to first base. She completed the run a split second before the opposing player caught the ball.

Hardin’s softball team shows strong offense, weaker defense in Billings Central game

In a two-and-a-half-hour showdown with Billings Central’s Lady Rams, the Hardin Lady Bulldog softball team put forth a strong effort on offense Tuesday afternoon, scoring 14 points. Unfortunately, the defense also let 24 points slip through by the end of the game.
 “Offensively, we showed up; defensively, we did not show up today,” Hardin Head Coach Sarah DeVore said. “We kept chipping away, but we were always 5 or 6.”
With the bases loaded by Rams offense in the first inning, a Billings Central player struck a home run, bringing the score 9-0 in their favor by the time the Ladies had a chance at bat. Though they scored only 2 points in their turn, Hardin prevented Billings Central from scoring the next time around, tagging out the last two Lady Rams in a double play.
Despite the defense’s struggles, it’s evident they have improved this year based on their ability to complete passes with a higher frequency and tag out opposing players trying to steal bases.
“We’re young, and our young girls are growing into their positions; you can see our catcher’s growing into her position and doing a good job,” DeVore said. “It’s still those little humps and those little hurdles they need to clean up.”
At their closest, the Ladies brought the score 6-9 in the second inning, topped off by two runs batted in by Ashley Uffelman. More difficulties catching showed up in the third inning, however, as the Lady Rams pulled away 6-14. Billings Central largely ended Hardin’s push toward a close game by the fifth inning when, already up 20-11, a Lady Ram player stole home.
Hardin will be facing Sidney’s Lady Eagles at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 4.