Depending on where your scales tilt, Tuesday’s playoff game might have been considered a battle of experience, or one decided on making plays.
Realistically, it was a mixture of both, as Hubbard topped Frost, 7-1, in the Region II-1A bi-district playoffs.
The Lady Jags (21-6-1) are perennial playoff participants, even though this was the first win for the underclassmen. Hubbard has only three seniors.
Frost, meanwhile, starts seven freshmen, and the last two years failed to field a team due to a lack of players. Still, the Lady Bears (11-4-1) committed three costly errors that allowed Hubbard to score its four runs. It was all the Lady Jags would need, as Olivia Curtis scattered five hits and struck out six.
Frost coach Clark Moore said it was a little of both.
“We’re disappointed we lost,” he said, citing his seniors Dakota Lassetter and Kadee Bowling and the inability to move on in their last seasons.
“We’re a young team in our first playoff game. You could tell we were a little nervous.”
Hubbard, on the other hand, was not.
The Lady Jags made the routine plays, and even got out of a sixth-inning jam after third baseman Kate Saucke made her first error of the year. Frost had only six at bats with runners in scoring position, with Madison Revill’s infield single driving in Hillaree Schwartz in the fourth to make it 2-1 Hubbard the only hit. Schwartz had tripled to right field to open the inning.
Other than that, it was a fast-paced effort from Curtis and her counterpart, Frost freshman Jae Moore, in a game that took only an hour and 35 minutes to play.
“We have a little more experience,” Hubbard coach Mike Saucke said.
It showed at the plate. The Lady Jags, normally a bash-it-out-type offensive team, left the aluminum on their shoulders, drawing three walks in the first inning. The Lady Jags also made Frost pay for mistakes, plating a pair of unearned runs in the second and fourth innings.
“(Moore) was very composed,” Saucke said. “She wasn’t getting that low, outside strike, and I was proud of our girls’ patience at the plate. They put the ball in play.”
Moore, who allowed nine hits, struck out two and didn’t walk a batter after the first, actually got out of the initial frame unscathed. Curtis had an RBI single in the second, and Jessica Williams an RBI single in the fourth as Hubbard built a 4-1 lead.
In the sixth, the Lady Jags salted the game away, getting a leadoff single from nine-hole hitter Sadie Simmons, another RBI-single from Curtis and an RBI double from Saucke. Four of their nine hits came in the inning.
“In softball and baseball, when you have one game between two teams, anything can happen,” Clark Moore said. “You have to tip your hat to Hubbard. They played better than us.”
Region III-1A Bi-district
Hubbard 7, Frost 1
Frost 000 100 0 – 1 5 3
Hubbard 020 206 x – 7 9 1
WP – Olivia Curtis
LP – Jae Moore
Top Hitters – F: Dakota Lassetter 1-4 (SB),Hillaree Schwartz 1-3 (3B, run), Jae Moore 1-3, Madison Revill 1-3 (RBI), Jasmyn Steels 1-3. H: Nakaila Banks 1-3 (RBI, BB), Olivia Curtis 2-3 (2 RBIs, run, BB), Kate Saucke 2-3 (2B, RBI,2 runs, sac), Jessica Williams 1-4 (2B, RBI), Dallas Fletcher 1-3 (BB), Amy Anz 1-4, Sadie Simmons 1-3 (2 runs, SB).
Records – Frost 11-4-1, Hubbard 21-6-1.