WOONSOCKET --- Mount St. Charles got a âDâ for its defense on Thursday afternoon.
The Mounties committed a half dozen errors in its Division I crossover showdown with North Kingstown, and while those miscues led to only two unearned runs, that turned out to be the difference in the visiting Skippersâ 7-5 victory that gave the Division I-South leaders their sixth straight win.
This game was a neat back-and-forth affair until the Skippers (8-1) rallied for three runs in the top of the fifth inning to claim their two-run lead.
The Mounties, who produced all their runs and all nine of their hits from the second through the fourth innings, were unable to respond over the final three frames, as N.K. junior ace pitcher Taylor Butler settled down to retire 11 of the final 12 batters she faced.
âWe were looking forward to testing ourselves with the best team from the South,â said MSC coach Cliff Matthews, whose team dipped to 4-5. âWe expected a really good game and we got one.â
While the Mounties got a very good game from the Skippers and matched them in the hit column, they were unable to duplicate their prowess in the field.
The Skippers backed Butler with some errorless defense and a few great plays from freshman third baseman Devin Neary, but the Mounties, who totaled five errors over their last four contests, didnât do themselves too many favors with their gloves.
âI think we did a very good job bouncing back and trying not to let the miscues bother us,â admitted Matthews. âItâs uncharacteristic for this team to commit so many errors. And we had a couple of mental errors as well, but I think a play one way or the other and we might have turned this loss into a win.â
Two of the Mountiesâ errors came with two outs in the top of the second and loaded the bases, but they were able to wiggle off the hook, thanks to an inning-ending grounder.
The Mounties then took a 2-0 lead in the home half of that inning, thanks to three infield singles, the last two, by No. 9 batter Theresa Pereira and Taylor Messier, driving in runs.
The Skippers then responded with four runs in the third, three racing home on a bases-clearing triple to deep center by Natalie Wirth, who ended up scoring the other run on a throwing error to the plate.
The hosts cut their deficit to a run in the bottom of the third on another two-out infield hit, this one by Aria DiMeo, and in the fourth, they took a 5-4 lead when Pereira and Messier led off with infield singles, and an out later, came home on a double by Emily Hendricks that she belted over the center fielderâs head.
But the visitors went to work in the fifth. Wirth and Amanda McHugh led off the inning with back-to-back doubles to knot the score, and a ground single to left by Emma Simmons gave N.K. the lead back for good. An error on the next play then helped the Skippers plate their final run.
The Mounties have the rest of the week off, but they open next week with a pair of crossover games on the road. On Monday, they will visit Coventry, and the following afternoon, they will bus to Barrington.