CLOVERDALE -- After the first inning Monday in Cloverdale, it looked like the Clover softball team was in command of the contest. Ahead 3-1, the Clovers looked like they were in a position to take the game over and win comfortably, especially as they had gotten runners on in the bottom of the second.
However, they were unable to produce, then and a late rally from Covenant Christian would be the difference as the visitors claimed a 4-3 victory Monday night.
The game started off quickly for the visiting Warriors as leadoff hitter Brittany Everett singled and later scored on an Alicia Eavey double. The Warriors threatened with runners in scoring position, but Cloverdale pitcher Kat Raisor recorded her second strike out of the inning to end the threat.
Cloverdale responded immediately as Breegan Andersen doubled to lead off the bottom of the frame. Paige Gutierrez singled and later stole second, setting up Tika Byrd to plate two with a one-out double. The Clovers then loaded the bases, but Raisor grounded into a fielder's choice that saw Byrd out at home.
A wild pitch would allow Bradanne Toney to steal home, but with runners on second and third, the Clovers could not add any further runs.
The same happened in the second, as runners in scoring position were not capitalized on and the score remained 3-1 until the fifth inning.
Having been unthreatened for the previous three innings, Raisor was charged with an error after Everett softly grounded back to the mound and the pitcher could not handle the ball. A single from Alyssa Easley and a two-run double from Rachel Hasty leveled the score at three, though Raisor was able to escape without any more damage.
With the Clover bats silent, the Warriors went ahead after loading the bases in the seventh. Eavey popped out to first, but LaNayah Pollard's ground out to second was enough to plate Easley.
Cloverdale strung together back-to-back singles in the bottom half of the inning, but were unable to advance the runners past second and fell to the visitors 4-3.
After the contest, Cloverdale coach Kim Bailey was still optimistic about the play of her team, even if the result went the wrong way.
"We played well. There were a couple of bloopers that (Covenant Christian) got that were hard for us to get to. We had a couple of errors that hurt us," Bailey said. "We never got going after the first couple of innings. The errors hurt us and we've had a hard time with getting consistent hitting at times this year. "
"Our girls are working hard. A lot of them are playing at different positions than they were at the beginning. Several players are getting opportunities, but we didn't connect on them today. We started off big today, played good defense and then in the fifth inning, it was, boom, you know."
Bailey added "We're working through our problems and the games are all close. We've been on the wrong end of 4-3 games too many times this year. It gets hard to take after a while."
"We just have to keep trying, keep going this year. We've got a lot of games this week. I'm proud of the girls stepping up this year. A lot of them are playing in places they aren't used to. We'd like to use them elsewhere, but they are doing what's best for the team."
CC 100 020 1 -- 4 10 0
Cloverdale 300 000 0 -- 3 9 2
WP -- Hasty (CG, 3K, BB, 9H, 2ER)
LP -- Raisor (CG, 5K, BB, 10H, 2ER)
2B -- Eavey, Hasty (CC), Anderson (CL)
RBI -- Hasty (2), Eavey, Pollard (CC), Byrd (2), (CL)