Pitman softball (1-3) was without two of its top contributors on Wednesday and it became evident in the first inning, after committing two errors and allowing three runs.
The Pride fell to the Atwater Falcons (2-2) at home, 7-1, for their third league loss.
“We had no person in their normal spot in the infield because a couple of people were gone for band, so we had a bunch of different people in different spots,” said Pitman head coach Joe Lewis. “It might have thrown them off a bit.”
Claire Fountain, Pitman’s regular shortstop and Denae Finney, the team’s unquestioned ace, were not present on Wednesday, missing their third leading hitter in Fountain who had a .360 average heading into the game.
Finney had tossed 33 and 1/3 innings of the teams 34 and 1/3 before Wednesday's game.
“It’s a big impact because Denae is our normal starting pitcher and Alanah Laupua is our normal catcher and she had to step in having not pitched many innings this year,” said Lewis. “Claire is our third leading hitter on the team so I felt it definitely affected us.”
Atwater junior ace, Cheyenne Mahy, pitched four scoreless innings along with a seven-inning complete game performance and allowed a single run on four hits.
“We were swinging at pitches we should never have been swinging at,” said Lewis. “She (Mahy) only threw two strikes total in the first two innings, the rest were balls and the balls we swung at would have been called balls. We swung at horrible pitches.”
Mahy went on to strike out 11 of the Pride batters through seven innings.
Laupua was 1-for-2 with a walk and Morgan Aguiniga was 1-for-4 with three strikeouts. Holland Henson was 1-for-3 and Lehua Deleon had the team's only RBI after driving in Henson in the bottom of the fifth on a single up the middle.
“We just have to be more consistent with the bats. When we have people in scoring position we have to get at least one run across when we have that opportunity,” said Lewis. “You are not going to win playing like that; we just didn't string any together and left too many in scoring positions.”
The Pride left five in scoring positions.
“I think it’s contagious just like in any sport, when an error happens the rest of the team shrugs the shoulders and another teammate makes an error and before you know it, it’s a waterfall effect,” said Lewis.
The Pride committed three errors for the game, allowing two unearned in the first.
Mahy was 2-for-3 with two RBI and freshman Megan Escobar had a pair of hits after going 2-for-3.
Laupua tossed seven innings, two strikeouts and seven hits allowed and four walks.
Pitman's next game will be at home against Turlock at 3:30 p.m. April 6.