Eastern’s softball squad built a 5-0 lead through six innings, only to have Taylor rally for four runs before the Class 2A No. 9-ranked Comets were able to close the door for a 5-4 win Saturday in a non-conference game at Taylor.
Maddie Vint put Eastern (4-3) on the board with an RBI single in the first, and Brooke Stout added an RBI single in the second.
The Comets pushed across three more runs in the sixth. Vint added an RBI double to her day, while Quinlyn Hochstedler and Ashlynn Hochstedler each connected for RBI singles to put Eastern up 5-0.
Taylor (2-2) rallied for four runs in the bottom half of the sixth to make things interesting. Cami Hansen and Taylor Mosier each belted two-RBI doubles before Eastern starter Abby Oyler was able to strand the tying run at third, which would eventually help preserve the win for the visitors.
“I was glad to get the win,” Eastern coach Jerry Haines said. “Taylor is much improved. They were young last year, but [former coach] Shane Arnold helped move them along, and [current coach] April Johnston has done a nice job with them. Their pitching was solid and their defense was good. We had trouble putting hits together, and were fortunate to get those runs in the sixth. It was a good game.”
Oyler struck out eight and walked one in the complete game. She allowed five hits, but none of Taylor’s runs were earned.
Cami Hansen suffered the loss in the circle for the Titans, allowing four runs – three earned – in 5 1/3 innings off work. She allowed seventh hits, struck out four and walked one. Rachel Hafley pitched the remainder, allowing one hit.
“I was pleased,” Johnston said. “We just had three mental errors that cost us early, and if we take those away, we’re right in the ballgame. We waited until the sixth to get going offensively, and I told the girls we need to start sooner. But, I was glad to see us continue to battle and put four on the board. We just couldn’t get the tying run across. But, we made it a game, and I’m happy with that.”