Two close battles ended the Lady Urchins’ season, as they suffered a second round series sweep to Hamilton, 8-6 and 4-2 on Saturday.
“The kids know who they were up against, and after falling by two runs in the first game, it kind of sucked the life out us,” East Union coach Josh Blythe said. “I told the girls that sometimes you get beat, and you have to tip your hat.”
Hamilton posted four early runs in the first off two hits and two East Union errors and made it 5-0 in the third before the Lady Urchins scored their first run. An RBI single by Mallory Roberts and a two-run double by Ashley Leach put East Union back in the game, and they found themselves down 8-3 going into their final at bat.
With bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, Ashley Leach hit a base clearing double, cutting Hamilton’s lead to two, but Leach was thrown out on an attempt to reach third base, ending he game.
“I told them we couldn’t quit, and I told them that there are people who already think this is over, but I need someone to step up and say that they’re going to do it, get the big hit, step up and do this,” Blythe said of his talk after the first game.
In game two, Hamilton again built an early 4-0 lead after two innings, and Leach brought in East’s first run in the sixth and Rebecca Sheffield added one more in the seventh. Mallory Roberts and Alie Haynie had multiple hits for the Lady Urchins in the loss.
“We had a big inning with bases loaded, and Rachel slapped the ball to right field, and I knew it was a bases clearing hit, and that girl came out of no where and caught it,” Blythe said. “You just have to tip you hat because some days you just get beat. That’s what happened.”
“I think the difference in the series was Hamilton’s pitcher. She threw the ball very high, going 12 foot, and it’s hard to hit against that. She silenced our bats, but it didn’t happen today.”
East Union ends the season having won 19 games and picking up their second Union County Championship in three years, accomplishments Blythe reminded his team of after the game.
“Today, we got beat, and I think our inexperience showed up today,” he said. “I told these kids that they have a lot to hold their heads up about having won 19 games and being Union County champs. Hamilton is good, and they know what it takes.”