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Arlington falls to Lake Stevens in pitching duel
The April 3 fastpitch game between Arlington and Lake Stevens shaped out to be a classic pitchers duel.
Arlingtons ace, Christina Rayner turned in a great performance, surrendering only seven hits and one earned run. Unfortunately for her, the Arlington bats produced little noise of their own and Lake Stevens escaped with a two-run victory.
Both sides saw no run scoring for the first three innings, each pitcher dominating the hitters. Rayner conceded only one baserunner during the first two innings, but found herself in a jam in the third. After two singles and an error to load the bases and only one out, Rayner induced a pop fly to second basewoman Kate Nicely for an easy out. A ground ball to the shortstop ended the inning.
Then in the fourth, Lake Stevens caught a break on an error by Arlington third basewoman Andrea Summers. The error put a runner on first with one out and was followed by a two singles to give Lake Stevens a 1-0 edge. Rayner escaped the inning with no further damage done.
In the fifth, Rayner did get some spectacular help from her defense as right fielder Bryanne Burns threw out a runner trying to advance from first base to third on a single. Burns charged the softly hit liner and came up firing, beating the Lake Stevens runner by a solid five feet. Summers applied the tag and Arlington got a big charge of momentum. Sadly, yet again, the Eagles could not capitalize with any runs in their half of the inning.
In the sixth Lake Stevens added to their advantage with one more run. A single followed a double over the left fielder and gave Lake Stevens all the extra cushion they needed.
In the bottom half of the sixth shortstop Kristin Wright led off with a single and stolen base to give the Eagles their best opportunity of the evening. She remained on second base as the next three Arlington bats went down in order, though Bryanne Burns was robbed of a hit by a running catch from the Lake Stevens right fielder to end the inning.
Rayner got Lake Stevens out easily in the top of the seventh, but the bottom half again proved to be frustrating for Arlington. After a single by Kaitlyn McAlister, she was thrown out on an ill-advised steal attempt. The put-out ended Arlingtons hopes of a rally and effectively ended the game.
Afterward coach Danny Eng discussed his teams performance.
We pitched well, but our defense made critical errors. And obviously we are not hitting right now. We need to do all three parts of the game equally well before well get the results we want. Weve been practicing our hitting a lot, but the results are not there yet.
Starting pitcher Christine Rayner agreed with the concern about the defense.
Were doing better. We just need to take out a few of the errors. Were progressing steadily and I believe that good things are on the way.
The Eagles next game comes April 13 against Marysville-Pilchuck.
Lk Stevens 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2
Arlington 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0